State Secretary Yves Rossier met his French counterpart, the General Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Christian Masset, in Paris on 2 November 2016 for the annual political consultations between France and Switzerland. The issues discussed included cross-border cooperation, Switzerland’s relationship with the European Union and the consequences of the British referendum on 23 June. The consultations also broached major topical issues, particularly in Europe and the Middle East, as well as multilateral matters of shared interest.
The talks saw the successful conclusion of negotiations begun early this year between France and Switzerland to reach an intergovernmental agreement on the tax system applying to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse (EAP). The agreement was initialled by Mr Rossier and Mr Masset, the two countries’ chief negotiators, in Paris, and will be made public when it is signed. It provides a legal framework for what was agreed in the joint declaration adopted by the President of the Swiss Confederation, Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, and the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, in Colmar, France, on 23 January 2016.
The main points of the agreement are as follows:
- Swiss value-added tax is to be levied in the Swiss area of EAP.
- France and Switzerland will split the receipts from corporation tax paid by EAP, with all stakeholders taking a share.
- The French Directorate General for Civil Aviation will be compensated for services provided in the Swiss area of EAP.
- Companies in the Swiss area will pay French income tax and Swiss capital tax but will not therefore be liable for the main local ancillary taxes levied in France, to which the Swiss tax is considered equivalent.
This agreement enables the establishment of a long-term legal regime for tax, ensuring that the airport and its businesses remain attractive and promoting their development, in line with Switzerland’s objective. In particular, the overall tax burden on businesses in the Swiss area under the new regime will remain similar to what it is currently. The two governments will subject the agreement to the respective internal procedures with a view to its signature and ratification.
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