Tag: Limited Risk Distributors (LRD)

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 13

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 13

42. The facts in this example are the same as those set out in Example 10 with the following additions: At the end of Year 3, Primair stops manufacturing watches and contracts with a third party to manufacture them on its behalf. As a result, Company S will import unbranded watches directly from the manufacturer and undertake secondary processing to apply the R name and logo and package the watches before sale to the final customer. It will then sell and distribute the watches in the manner described in Example 10. As a consequence, at the beginning of Year 4, Primair and Company S renegotiate their earlier agreement and enter into a new long term licensing agreement. The new agreement, to start at the beginning of Year 4, is for five years, with Company S having an option for a further five years. Under the new agreement, Company S is granted the exclusive right within country Y to process, market ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 12

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 12

39. The facts in this example are the same as in Example 9 with the following additions: By the end of Year 3, the R brand is successfully established in the country Y market and Primair and Company S renegotiate their earlier agreement and enter into a new long-term licensing agreement. The new agreement, which is to commence at the beginning of Year 4, is for five years with Company S having an option for a further five years. Under this agreement, Company S agrees to pay a royalty to Primair based on the gross sales of all watches bearing the R trademark. In all other respects, the new agreement has the same terms and conditions as in the previous arrangement between the parties. There is no adjustment made to the price payable by Company S for the branded watches as a result of the introduction of the royalty. Company S’s sales of R brand watches in Years 4 and ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 11

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 11

35. The facts in this example are the same as in Example 9, except that Company S now enters into a three-year royalty-free agreement to market and distribute the watches in the country Y market, with no option to renew. At the end of the three-year period, Company S does not enter into a new contract with Primair. 36. Assume that it is demonstrated that independent enterprises do enter into short-term distribution agreements where they incur marketing and distribution expenses, but only where they stand to earn a reward commensurate with the functions performed, the assets used, and the risks assumed within the time period of the contract. Evidence derived from comparable independent enterprises shows that they do not invest large sums of money in developing marketing and distribution infrastructure where they obtain only a short-term marketing and distribution agreement, with the attendant risk of non-renewal without compensation. The potential short-term nature of the marketing and distribution agreement is such ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 9

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 9

26. The facts in this example are the same as in Example 8, except as follows: Under the contract between Primair and Company S, Company S is now obligated to develop and execute the marketing plan for country Y without detailed control of specific elements of the plan by Primair. Company S bears the costs and assumes certain of the risks associated with the marketing activities. The agreement between Primair and Company S does not specify the amount of marketing expenditure Company S is expected to incur, only that Company S is required to use its best efforts to market the watches. Company S receives no direct reimbursement from Primair in respect of any expenditure it incurs, nor does it receive any other indirect or implied compensation from Primair, and Company S expects to earn its reward solely from its profit from the sale of R brand watches to third party customers in the country Y market. A thorough functional ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 8

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 8

20. Primair, a resident of country X, manufactures watches which are marketed in many countries around the world under the R trademark and trade name. Primair is the registered owner of the R trademark and trade name. The R name is widely known in countries where the watches are sold and has obtained considerable economic value in those markets through the efforts of Primair. R watches have never been marketed in country Y, however, and the R name is not known in the country Y market. 21. In Year 1, Primair decides to enter the country Y market and incorporates a wholly owned subsidiary in country Y, Company S, to act as its distributor in country Y. At the same time, Primair enters into a long-term royalty-free marketing and distribution agreement with Company S. Under the agreement, Company S is granted the exclusive right to market and distribute watches bearing the R trademark and using the R trade name in ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 7

TPG2022 Chapter VI Annex I example 7

16. Primero is the parent company of an MNE group engaged in the pharmaceutical business and does business in country M. Primero develops patents and other intangibles relating to Product X and registers those patents in countries around the world. 17. Primero retains its wholly owned country N subsidiary, Company S, to distribute Product X throughout Europe and the Middle East on a limited risk basis. The distribution agreement provides that Primero, and not Company S, is to bear product recall and product liability risk, and provides further that Primero will be entitled to all profit or loss from selling Product X in the territory after providing Company S with the agreed level of compensation for its distribution functions. Operating under the contract, Company S purchases Product X from Primero and resells Product X to independent customers in countries throughout its geographical area of operation. In performing its distribution functions, Company S follows all applicable regulatory requirements. 18. In the ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.108

The selection and application of a transfer pricing method to post-restructuring controlled transactions must derive from the analysis of the economically relevant characteristics of the controlled transaction as accurately delineated. It is essential to understand what the functions, assets and risks involved in the post-restructuring transactions are, and what party performs, uses or assumes them. This requires information to be available on the functions, assets and risks of both parties to a transaction, e.g. the restructured entity and the foreign associated enterprise with which it transacts. The analysis should go beyond the label assigned to the restructured entity, as an entity that is labelled as a “commissionnaire” or “limited risk distributor” can sometimes be found to own valuable local intangibles and to continue to assume significant market risks, and an entity that is labelled as a “contract manufacturer” can sometimes be found to pursue significant development activities or to own and use unique intangibles. In post-restructuring situations, particular attention should ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.106

Where a restructuring involves a transfer to a foreign associated enterprise of risks that were previously assumed by a taxpayer, it may be important to examine whether the transfer of risks only concerns the future risks that will arise from the post-restructuring activities or also the risks existing at the time of the restructuring as a result of pre-conversion activities, i.e. there is a cut-off issue. For instance, consider a situation in which a distributor was assuming bad debt risks which it will no longer assume after its being restructured as a “limited risk distributor”, and that it is being compared with a long-established “limited risk distributor” that never assumed bad debt risk. It may be important when comparing both situations to examine, based on the guidance in Section D. 1.2.1 of Chapter I, whether the “limited risk distributor” that results from a conversion still assumes the risks associated with bad debts that arose before the restructuring at the time ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.105

When one compares a situation where a long-established full-fledged distributor is converted into a limited risk distributor with a situation where a limited risk distributor has been in existence in the market for the same duration, there might also be differences because the full-fledged distributor may have performed some functions, borne some expenses (e.g. marketing expenses), assumed some risks and contributed to the development of some intangibles before its conversion that the long-existing “limited risk distributor” may not have performed, borne, assumed or contributed to. The question arises whether at arm’s length such additional functions, assets and risks should only affect the remuneration of the distributor before its being converted, whether they should be taken into account to determine a remuneration of the transfers that take place upon the conversion (and if so how), whether they should affect the remuneration of the restructured limited risk distributor (and if so how), or a combination of these three possibilities. For instance, if ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.104

Some differences in the starting position of the restructured entity compared to the position of a newly set up operation can relate to the established presence of the operation. For instance, if one compares a situation where a long-established full-fledged distributor is converted into a limited risk distributor with a situation where a limited risk distributor is established in a market where the group did not have any previous commercial presence, market penetration efforts might be needed for the new entrant which are not needed for the converted entity. This may affect the comparability analysis and the determination of the arm’s length remuneration in both situations ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.102

Where an arrangement between associated enterprises replaces an existing arrangement (restructuring), there may be factual differences in the starting position of the restructured entity compared to the position of a newly set up operation. Sometimes, the post-restructuring arrangement is negotiated between parties that have had prior contractual and commercial relationships. In such a situation, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case and in particular on the rights and obligations derived by the parties from these prior arrangements, this may affect the options realistically available to the parties in negotiating the terms of the new arrangement and therefore the conditions of the restructuring and of the post-restructuring arrangements (see paragraphs 9.27-9.31 for a discussion of options realistically available in the context of determining the arm’s length compensation for the restructuring itself). For instance, assume a party has proved in the past to be able to perform well as a full-fledged distributor performing a whole range of marketing and selling ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.65

In particular, in the case of the conversion of a full-fledged distributor into, for example, a limited risk distributor or commissionnaire, it may be important to examine whether the distributor has developed local marketing intangibles over the years prior to its being restructured and if so, what the nature and the value of these intangibles are, and whether they were transferred to an associated enterprise. Where such local intangibles are found to be in existence and to be transferred to a foreign associated enterprise, the arm’s length principle should apply to determine whether and if so how to compensate such a transfer, based on what would be agreed between independent parties in comparable circumstances. In this regard it is relevant to note that the transferor should receive arm’s length compensation (in addition to the arm’s length compensation for the transferred intangibles) when after the restructuring it continues to perform functions related to the development, enhancement, maintenance, protection or exploitation of ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.64

Where a local full-fledged operation is converted into an operation assuming limited risk, using limited intangibles and receiving low remuneration, the questions arise of whether this conversion entails the transfer by the restructured local entity to a foreign associated enterprise of valuable intangibles or rights in intangibles and whether there are local intangibles that remain with the local operation ... Read more
TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.46

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.46

At arm’s length, the response is likely to depend on the rights and other assets of the parties, on the profit potential of the distributor and of its associated enterprise in relation to both business models (full-fledged and low risk distributor) as well as the expected duration of the new arrangement. In particular, in evaluating profit potential, it is necessary to evaluate whether historic profits (determined in accordance with the arm’s length principle) are an indicator of future profit potential, or whether there have been changes in the business environment around the time of the restructuring that mean that past performance is not an indicator of profit potential. For example, competing products could have the effect of eroding profitability, and new technology or consumer preferences could render the products less attractive. The consideration of these factors from perspective of the distributor can be illustrated with the following example ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.45

As another example, assume a full-fledged distributor is operating under a long term contractual arrangement for a given type of transaction. Assume that, based on its rights under the long term contract with respect to these transactions, it has the option realistically available to it to accept or refuse being converted into a limited risk distributor operating for a foreign associated enterprise, and that an arm’s length remuneration for such a low risk distribution activity is estimated to be a stable profit of +2% per year while the excess profit potential associated with the risks would now be attributed to the foreign associated enterprise. Assume for the purpose of this example that the restructuring leads to the renegotiation of the existing contractual arrangements, but it does not entail the transfer of assets other than its rights under the long term contract. From the perspective of the distributor, the question arises as to whether the new arrangement (taking into account both ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.23

For instance, where a full-fledged distributor is converted into a limited-risk distributor or commissionnaire resulting in the reduction or elimination of risks relating to inventory in the restructured enterprise, in order to determine whether such risk is economically significant the tax administration may want to analyse: The role of inventory in the business model (for example, speed to market, comprehensive range), The nature of the inventory (for example, spare parts, fresh flowers), The level of investment in inventory, The factors giving rise to inventory write-downs or obsolescence (for example, perishability, pricing pressures, speed of technical improvements, market conditions), The history of write-down and stock obsolescence, and whether any commercial changes affect the reliability of historic performance as an indicator of current risk, The cost of insuring against damage or loss of inventory, and The history of damage or loss (if uninsured) ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.21

A second example relates to the purported transfer of credit risk as part of a business restructuring. The analysis under Section D. 1.2.1 of Chapter I would take into account the contractual terms before and after the restructuring, but would also examine how the parties operate in relation to the risk before and after the restructuring. The analysis would then examine whether the party that contractually assumes the risk controls the risk in practice through relevant capability and decision-making as defined in paragraph 1.65 and has the financial capacity to assume such risk as defined in paragraph 1.64. It is important to note that a party that before the restructuring did not assume a risk under the analysis of Section D. 1.2.1 of Chapter I cannot transfer it to another party, and a party that after the restructuring does not assume a risk under the analysis of Section D. 1.2.1 of Chapter I should not be allocated the profit potential ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.19

Risks are of critical importance in the context of business restructurings. Usually, in the open market, the assumption of risk associated with a commercial opportunity affects the profit potential of that opportunity, and the allocation of risk assumed between the parties to the arrangement affects how profits or losses resulting from the transaction are allocated through the arm’s length pricing of the transaction. Business restructurings often result in local operations being converted into low risk operations (e.g. “low risk distributors”, or “low risk contract manufacturers”) and being remunerated with a relatively low (but generally stable) return on the grounds that the economically significant risks are assumed by another party to which the profits or losses associated with those risks are allocated. For this reason, an examination of the allocation of risks between associated enterprises before and after the restructuring is an essential part of the functional analysis. Such analysis should allow tax administrations to assess the transfer of the economically ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter IX paragraph 9.15

Restructurings can take a variety of different forms and may involve two or more members of an MNE group. For example, a simple pre-restructuring arrangement could involve a full-fledged manufacturer producing goods and selling them to an associated full-fledged distributor for on-sale into the market. The restructuring could involve a modification to that two-party arrangement, whereby the distributor is converted to a limited risk distributor or commissionnaire, with risks previously assumed by the full-fledged distributor being assumed by the manufacturer (taking into account the guidance in Section D. 1 of Chapter I. Frequently, the restructuring will be more complicated, with functions performed, assets used and risks assumed by either or both parties to a pre-restructuring arrangement shifting to one or more members of the group ... Read more

TPG2022 Chapter VI paragraph 6.199

For example, a tested party engaged in the marketing and distribution of goods purchased in controlled transactions may have developed marketing intangibles in its geographic area of operation, including customer lists, customer relationships, and customer data. It may also have developed advantageous logistical know-how or software and other tools that it uses in conducting its distribution business. The impact of such intangibles on the profitability of the tested party should be considered in conducting a comparability analysis ... Read more