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    15,378.070
    -88.350
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  • OTLT.USA
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    0.001
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  • OTRI.USA
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    0.290
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  • OTVI.USA
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  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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    2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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    0.000
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  • WAIT.USA
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    1.000
    0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,378.070
    -88.350
    -0.6%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.743
    0.001
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
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    0.290
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  • OTVI.USA
    15,350.040
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  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
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    1.560
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • WAIT.USA
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American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

EU to investigate tax breaks for ports in France, Belgium

The European Commission has opened two separate in-depth probes into corporate tax exemptions granted by the French and Belgian governments to ports in an effort to determine if such benefits undermine competition with other EU nations.

   The European Union is investigating corporate tax exemptions granted by the governments of France and Belgium to ports in an effort to determine if such benefits undermine competition with other EU nations.
   The European Commission, the EU’s anti-trust watchdog, said it has opened two separate in-depth probes into whether the economic activities of ports in the two nations are in line with EU state aid rules.
   The investigations cover most of the ports in Belgium, including Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Charleroi, Ghent, Liège, Namur and Ostend, as well as ports along the canals in Hainaut Province and Flanders, which are exempt from the general corporate income tax regime. This means they have different base and tax rates, resulting in an overall lower level of taxation for Belgian ports on their commercial activities compared with other companies in Belgium.
   In France, most ports are fully exempt from corporate income tax, which “self-evidently” results in an overall lower level of taxation for French ports on their commercial activities as compared to other companies in the country. This includes the 11 “grands ports maritimes” of Bordeaux, Dunkerque, La Rochelle, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes – Saint-Nazaire and Rouen as well as Guadeloupe, Guyane, Martinique and Réunion, the ‘Port autonome de Paris’, and ports operated by chambers of industry and commerce.
   The EC in January 2016 requested that Belgium and France bring their corporate tax law into line with EU state aid rules by abolishing their tax exemption for ports following its investigation into the functioning and taxation of ports in EU Member States.
   “As Belgium and France have not agreed to align their tax laws as the Commission proposed, the Commission has now opened in-depth investigations to assess whether its initial concerns are confirmed or not,” the commission said in a statement.
   “Ports play a key role in the EU’s economy. Our competition rules reflect that and allow Member States to support the construction or upgrade of port infrastructure through investment aid,” added Margrethe Vestager, commissioner in charge of competition policy. “However, tax exemptions shouldn’t distort competition by giving an unfair advantage to some ports over others in Europe.”

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