Success for Hamburg's initiative

11 Apr 2024 13:14 Economy

At Hamburg's long-standing instigation, the Conference of State Finance Ministers today unanimously agreed to press ahead with the introduction of a clearing model for the collection of import VAT. The aim is to finally streamline and optimise the procedure and thus reduce competitive disadvantages, particularly for the port of Hamburg, but also for other logistics hubs in Germany. The current procedure, in which import VAT must first be paid to customs and can only be refunded later on request as part of the tax return, would thus become a thing of the past. The Federal Ministry of Finance should now specify all the necessary measures and amendments to the law that are required in order to start work on the introduction of the offsetting model.

Finance Senator Dr Andreas Dressel: "Our persistent efforts on behalf of the Hamburg port industry and the German logistics sector continue to bear fruit. With today's decision, we are sending a clear signal for further bureaucracy reduction and a new streamlined procedure for import VAT. We have already achieved a first partial success with the 'extended deadline solution' implemented at the end of 2020 - no more, no less. In many cases, this has partially eliminated the need for interim financing of import VAT, which was often criticised by the business community, and helped companies to obtain short-term liquidity, especially during the coronavirus crisis. However, we have always been concerned with fundamental, substantial changes to the procedure and thus with the elimination of competitive disadvantages - especially in comparison with Rotterdam. There, the German competitive disadvantage is even used offensively to promote the location. In this respect, I am pleased that our constant efforts are paying off and that the decision to introduce the clearing model is a successful start to further strengthen Germany as a logistics location and the Port of Hamburg. There are still many steps to be taken, but we will keep at it!

Reduction of competitive disadvantages for the Hamburg port industry.

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