Written statement to Parliament

Outstanding national non-domestic rates bill for 2013

Foreign Office Minister has updated Parliament on Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations with an outstanding National Non-Domestic Rates bill in 2013.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Mark Simmonds

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Mark Simmonds said:

The majority of diplomatic missions in the United Kingdom pay the National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) due from them. Diplomatic missions are obliged to pay only 6% of the total NNDR value of their offices. This represents payment for specific services such as street cleaning and street lighting.

Representations by the Protocol Directorate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to missions in 2014 led to the settlement of outstanding debts by Kuwait, Maldives, Nepal, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka - amongst others.

As at 30 June 2014, the total amount of outstanding NNDR payments owed by foreign diplomatic missions as advised by the Valuation Office Agency is £726,076, an increase of 7% over the 2012 figure, as reported in my 2013 WMS (£674,110). However, £72,137 of this outstanding debt is owed by Iran – which is in the process of reopening its embassy in the UK, and Syria – which is not currently represented in the UK. We have therefore been unable to pursue these debts. Three missions are responsible for just over half of the remainder. We shall continue to urge those with NNDR debt to pay their dues.

Missions listed below owed over £10,000 in respect of NNDR.

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China £146,564
Embassy of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire £96,258
High Commission for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh £92,499
Sierra Leone High Commission £57,477
Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania £38,703
Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan £26,137
Embassy of the Republic of Korea £22,749
Embassy of the Republic of Liberia £24,749
Embassy of Ukraine £20,911
Embassy of the Republic of Albania £15,554
Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe £14,053
Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia £10,988

Figures for previous years are available in my written statement to the House on 11 July 2013, Official Report, column 32WS.

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Published 15 July 2014