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Port of Rotterdam calls for greater state support

Port of Rotterdam calls for greater state support

WASHINGTON: The Port of Rotterdam has called for more structural support from the Dutch government, after becoming liable to pay corporation tax this year. A statement from the port authority noted: “Ports in neighbouring countries receive considerably more support on a structural basis from their national governments than their Dutch counterparts. “For example, there are now plans in Germany to halve the tariffs for rail transport, Dutch ports are the only ports that the European Commissioner requires to pay corporation tax, and the European limit for state aid has been raised to €150m (US$175m).” With the “challenges facing the port [of Rotterdam] and [its] industrial complex, “support is needed that is comparable to neighbouring countries,” the statement added. The port authority has been subject to corporation tax with effect from this year, it noted, while port companies in neighbouring countries are exempt or receive compensation for their losses. The port has earmarked €31.4m (US$36.7m) for taxation – 25% of its result. Profit after tax is therefore €97.8m (US$114.1m).

During the first half of 2017, the port, which is Europe’s largest, saw 9.3% growth in container throughput. It also increased its market share in the Hamburg-Le Havre range from 29% in the first quarter of last year to 30.9% in Q1 2017. Across all market segments, sea port dues by 0.4% to €146m (U$170m) while income from contracts rose by 1.3% to €173.8m (US$203m).