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HMRC internal manual

Double Taxation Relief Manual

Double Taxation Relief Manual: Guidance by country: France: Offshore activities

Article 22 deals with income arising from activities in connection with the exploration and exploitation of the seabed, sub-soil and their natural resources.

Under Article 22 (2) any such activities constitute a permanent establishment where they are carried on by an enterprise of one contracting State in offshore areas where the other has jurisdiction notwithstanding the general definition of a permanent establishment in Article 5. This rule is however subject to a minimum exclusion for activities carried on for 30 days or less in aggregate in any 12 month period. The exclusion in turn is subject to an anti-avoidance rule to prevent the fragmentation of activities within a group of companies.

Profits derived from transporting supplies or personnel to offshore installations or from operating tugboats etc. remain taxable solely in the state of residence of the person concerned in line with the shipping article (Article 7 and see INTM153090).

The above extended definition of a permanent establishment does not apply for the purpose of the employment article, in particular Article 15(2)(c).