Oil, gas, mining and logging companies could be affected by new reporting requirements as of 1 January 2016. New regulation introduces an obligation to report the payments that both extraction and logging companies make to governments worldwide, so called country-by-country reporting.
Examples of payments that need to be reported, include payments for production rights, taxes, royalties and dividends, amounting to at least EUR 100.000. The new Accounting Directive, repealing the Fourth and Seventh Accounting Directives on Annual and Consolidated Accounts, as well as the amendments to the European Transparency Directive, introduce such an obligation. The reporting requirement's objective is to increase transparency of payments, to decrease corruption in these industries and to encourage proper governance.
The companies and partnerships subject to these new reporting requirements fall into two categories, i.e. (i) large undertakings, and (ii) public interest entities, whereas in the Netherlands an entity will considered to qualify as a "large undertaking" if it meets at least two of the following three criteria on two consecutive balance sheet dates:
- a balance sheet total exceeding EUR 20 mio;
- a net turnover exceeding EUR 40 mio;
- an average number of at least 250 employees.
A "public interest entity" is either a listed company, a credit institution, an insurance undertaking, or an entity designated by means of an order in council (algemene maatregel van bestuur) as defined in the Dutch Civil Code. Entities required to produce consolidated financial statements, will generally also produce a consolidated payments report. Subsidiaries of such reporting entities are exempted from the payment reporting requirements. The same exemption applies to entities that produce a report which complies with the reporting requirements of a third country, but only if such report is similar to the payment report of the Accounting Directive. Such equivalent report will, however, need to be published and filed accordingly.
All large reporting entities are to file a separate payments report within 12 months after the end of the financial year. The reports are to be retained and made available to the public for at least 10 years.