The Port of Rotterdam authority has announced together with five Dutch port authorities that it will be appealling against a decision made by the European Commission stating that Dutch sea ports must pay corporation tax from January 1, 2017.
In 2015, the Dutch legislature had made an exception in the law for port authorities , which means that they did not have to pay corporation tax because they were not competing with private parties, but with foreign ports and with each other.
Based on recent annual figures, the Port of Rotterdam Authority would have to pay around US$67 million in corporation tax per year.
This is in addition toa dividend of approximately $101 million that is indexed annually and payed to the Municipality of Rotterdam and to the State.
Paul Smits, Financial Director of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: “We are not against paying corporation tax, but then it should apply to all European sea ports. This is a matter of principle for us.
“The foreign ports with which we have to compete do not pay corporation tax and, in addition, are even supported in various ways by their governments.
“Within Europe, it should be a question of ‘what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”
Mr Smits concluded: “The payment of corporation tax will come at the expense of our investments in the port complex. The purpose of this cannot be to increase unfair competition.”