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13th AGM of the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development - Managing Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

16-20 October 2017 | Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

Highlights for Friday, 20 October 2017

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Summary
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IGF The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) Secretariat and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) organized a technical workshop on Tax Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), on the final day of a five-day series of meetings at UN Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Howard Mann, IGF Secretariat, introduced the topic, noting that IGF members have identified this issue as one of their main concerns. With Dan Devlin, OECD, he outlined a joint IGF-OECD programme that aims to assist governments and build country capacity on the issue.

Elfrieda Tamba, Commissioner General, Liberia Revenue Authority, gave the keynote address, recounting her country’s experience of increasing tax revenue by 500% through addressing revenue losses in the mining sector. She highlighted measures that have improved tax compliance in Liberia, including education and stakeholder engagement, and the training of government officials, which, she said, has improved inspection capacity.

The workshop addressed a range of issues related to BEPS, including: how to detect instances of transfer mispricing; combating mispricing by strengthening mineral testing facilities in countries; and tax incentives that can help minimize profit shifting. Participants learned about the practice of debt financing that results in tax base erosion via interest deductions, and also discussed investment treaties and stabilization clauses.

Participants raised questions about conceptual and practical difficulties related to addressing BEPS, considering the differences between illegal tax evasion practices and tax avoidance practices that remain within the bounds of legality. They discussed ways to address various technical and capacity challenges for governments, including through sharing of information to promote market and price transparency, and joint regional laboratory facilities for minerals testing.

At the close of the workshop, Alexandra Readhead, BEPS Project Technical Advisor, IGF, encouraged countries to continue sharing their expertise and concerns, and Devlin highlighted the importance of conveying these messages to ministers and policy makers in order to bring about good financial governance in the mining sector.

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Opening Session

(L-R) Howard Mann, IGF Secretariat; Dan Devlin, OECD; Alexandra Readhead, IGF; and Elfrieda Tamba, Liberia Revenue Authority

Elfrieda Tamba, Liberia Revenue Authority

Janvier Nkurunziza, UNCTAD

Transfer Mispricing in Mining

Alexandra Readhead, IGF

Thulani Shongwe, African Tax Administration Forum

Debt Financing in Mining – Protecting the Mining Tax Base Against Excessive Interest Deductions

Dan Devlin, OECD

Mineral Valuation – Combating Mispricing by Strengthening Mineral Testing Facilities

(L-R) Alexandra Readhead, IGF; Sahr Wonday, Director General, National Minerals Agency, Sierra Leone; Matthieu Delorme, Executive Vice President - Commodities, Cotecna Inspection SA; Alhousseine Kaba, General Inspector, Guinea; Mohamed Lamine Nabe, Guinea

Matthieu Delorme, Executive Vice President - Commodities, Cotecna Inspection SA

Alhousseine Kaba, General Inspector, Guinea

Tax Incentives for Mining Investment – Minimizing Profit Shifting as a Result of Incentives

(L-R) Howard Mann, IGF Secretariat; Iain Steel, Budget Strengthening Initiative, Liberia; Dan Devlin, OECD; Alexandra Readhead, IGF

Iain Steel, Budget Strengthening Initiative, Liberia

Investment Treaties and Stabilization Clauses

Howard Mann, IGF Secretariat

Around the Venue

IISD RS team (L-R): Nancy Williams, Logistic Coordinator; Jessica Wang, Writer; Sean Wu, Digital Editor; Kelly Sharp, Writer;
Suzi Malan
, Writer; and Delia Paul, Team Leader


Funding for coverage of AGM 2017 has been provided by IISD