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24 May 2019 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 11:05 GMT+2



January 8, 2019

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The EU commission confirmation: the collection of the concessori canons by the Harbour Authorities is an economic activity

Brussels invites Italy and Spain to conform the respective systems of taxation of the ports

The EU commission has confirmed that the collection of the concessori canons by the Harbour Authorities is an economic activity and as such subject one to fiscal imposition, opting for an interpretation of the communitarian norms in matter of aids of State that is considered mistaken by the Italian harbour community as which restated the slid spring with the scope to ask for a possible detailed list procedure of infraction in confronts of the Italy preannounced from Brussels(of the 16, 16 and 19 April 2018). Reached objective, since today the EU commission has adopted two decisions with which it invites is the Italy that Spain to conform the respective systems of taxation of the ports to the norms in matter of aids of State, not assuring that the ports beginning from pay on January 1°, 2020 the tax on the societies in the same way of the business institutions. Invitation in which it specifies that "the commercial exploitation of harbour infrastructures, as the concession of the access to the port behind payment, constitutes an economic activity".

Own the interpretation that the Italian harbour community judges roved as the Harbour Authorities, now transformed in Authority of Harbour System, is agencies subject to the public right and not commercial organisms, form that mostly characterizes instead various port authority of the nordeuropei harbour ports of call that operate in privatistica way.

The attempt of the EU commission is to ago conform the fiscal imposition on the ports in all the territory of the EU and, being to the passages declarations of primary national marine-harbour associations, with what the Italian harbour community considers to be a chip ax blow. "The ports - the European commissioner to the Competition, Margrethe Vestager has asserted, confirming the interpretation of the Commission - are essential infrastructures for the economic increase and the regional development. For this reason the norms EU in matter of aids of State preview that the Member States have of wide margins of maneuver for the adoption of measures of support and investment in favor of the ports. At the same time, in order to guarantee fair conditions of competition in all the EU, the ports that generate profits exercising economic activities go in the same way taxed of the other economic operators - neither more, neither less".

In order to detail which activities the EU commission consider to be not economic and which economic ones, are clarified that between first - that they are excluded by the field of application of the norms EU in matter of aids of State - those times for example re-enter to guarantee safety and the control of the marine traffic or the antipollution surveillance, activities that usually re-enter therefore within competence of the public authorities. On the contrary, second the EU commission, between those purely economic - to which they apply to the norms EU in matter of aids of State - re-enter activity between which exactly that to grant the access to harbour infrastructures through the payment of a concession canon. For Brussels, "the exemption from the tax on the societies for the ports that realize profits from economic activities can represent a competitive advantage on the home market and therefore it involves an aid of State that could be incompatible with the norm of the EU".

The EU commission has remembered that in Italy the ports integrally are exempted by the income tax of the societies, while in Spain the ports are exempted by the income tax of the cespiti societies regarding their main ones, for example the harbour taxes or the yields derived from concession or leases, and that in the Basque Countries the ports totally are exempted by the payment of the tax on the societies.

Specifying that Italy and Spain have now two months of time in order to adopt the measures necessary to conform their legislations, the EU commission has remembered that recently it has asked Belgium, France and Holland to abolish the exemptions from the tax on the societies of which they benefitted the respective ports(on January 22, 2016 and 27 July 2017).

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