Bijleveld and De Jager present their view on E-zones

During the First Chamber debate on the political changes within the Kingdom this week, State Secretary Ank Bijleveld (Kingdom Relations, CDA) said that she agreed with State Secretary Jan Kees de Jager (Finance, CDA) that they would mutually forward a memorandum to the Chamber regarding the E-zones before this summer.

“Even before the summer, State Secretary Bijleveld and Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin will come up with a memorandum on the so-called E-zones on a few of the Antillean islands”, says the SP on their website. Bijleveld stated this in response to a question of First Chamber member Sineke ten Horn regarding the taxes on the BES-islands.
“In fact these free-trade zones are tax havens”, says the SP, “where companies are registered by a P.O. Box and have the right to pay only 2 percent tax on profits. Especially Curaçao is doing good business. It cannot be possible that we allow these zones to continue to operate unnoticed within the Kingdom. In any case, my party will not agree to this.”
According to Ten Horn, this would also conflict with the agreements made in 1993 when Aruba got its " status aparte" : “We then agreed that if regulations were not acceptable internationally, or would be disadvantuous to other parts of the Kingdom, the fiscal regime and the tax regulation should be adjusted.”
Ten Horn also said that these free trading zones ‘were also used for the transit of drugs and other contraband goods, such as alcohol and cigarettes, as well as money laundry’.

The vision of the future and the bill on future taxes on the BES-islands, are currently with the Council of State for advice, says Bijleveld. “My colleague De Jager will submit the proposal to the Second Chamber, even though I am co-signatory of this proposal. It mostly concerns the national taxation on the BES-islands, amongst others the tax on profits. The local taxes are regulated in the submitted law proposal on the finances of the BES-islands. That legislation indeed seems similar to what we regulated for the cities in the Netherlands.”

Bijleveld continues: “It is known that we have followed the structure of the Municipalities Act for the BES-islands and all that is related. I must admit, that we have made it simpler where possible.”

(Source: National newspaper Antilliaans Dagblad / Amigoe)

May 23, 2009


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