The Federation of European Private Port Companies and Terminals (FEPORT) has welcomed the G7 agreement on the minimum 15% taxation rate of multinationals and has also called on OECD countries to include cargo handling within their tax proposals.
During the organisation’s remote general assembly meeting, members discussed concerns to port terminal companies resulting from the international shipping industry pushing for an exemption from the new tax reform deal.
The federation is worried that the “too broad definition of shipping” could lead to an exemption of shipping companies’ own cargo handling activities and beyond.
Such an exemption would “further distort competition” in the port services sector, benefiting shipping companies and undermining the purpose of the OECD proposals, according to FEPORT.
Hence the organisation is calling on OECD member countries to retain any and all kind of cargo and passenger handling activities in the scope of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Pillar 2 to ensure fair competition in the port industry.
FEPORT president Gunther Bonz said: “We want all cargo and passenger handling activities services to be in. If this were unfortunately not to happen then the only alternative would be to exempt all these activities as well as freight forwarders and hauliers from BEPS 2.
“That would defeat the purpose of this historic agreement, and this is not what we want. In view of the G20 meeting in Venice, we call on OECD countries to include all kind of cargo and passenger handling activities in the scope of BEPS Pillar 2 to ensure fair competition.”
All cargo handling operations should indeed be taxed in the same way and therefore be concerned by the minimum tax as agreed upon during the G7 agreement, according to the federation.