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Allocation of costs

Shell’s centralised services and business service centres charge fees for services that provide a benefit for the receiving entities and which these entities would have been willing to pay a third party to provide. Shell’s operating companies using centralised services pay a fee, which is based on the actual cost of providing the services.

The costs of these services need to be fairly charged to the entities benefiting from the services. All Group entities should bear their fair share of the costs. Costs are not excessively charged to entities in higher-tax jurisdictions where they could be deducted and used to manipulate taxable profit to a lower level.

In cases where there is just one recipient of a service, the entity pays a direct fee for the service it has received based on the actual cost of the service. However, if there are different entities receiving the same service, they share the cost. Their share is allocated proportionately based on an appropriate measure of the usage of the service, for example capital and operating expenditure, staff employed or orders processed. Shell’s service cost allocation system, including the proportionate allocation of costs, is set up and operated in accordance with the guidance provided by the OECD.

Business service centres

Our businesses are supported by business service centres around the world. The choice of location for these centres is based on available expertise and costs which compare favourably with alternative outsourcing solutions. The centres provide significant employment opportunities with around 19,500 staff worldwide in 2021 (around 22,400 people employed, including contractors). Some of their activities benefit from local tax exemptions where, for example, certain employment levels are met.

Information technology

Information technology (IT) provides capabilities that improve the way we do business. IT services are centralised in India and Malaysia.

Human resources

Human resources focuses on reviewing, monitoring and guiding the business processes and systems that affect our employees, such as staff recruitment, on-boarding, retention and motivation. Human resources services are centralised in Poland, Malaysia and the Philippines.


Legal provides expert advice on the activities of the businesses and functions. Legal services are centralised in Poland and Malaysia.

Finance and data operations

Finance and Data Operations provides the businesses with access to reliable data and analysis of their financial profiles and performance, as well as accounting, tax return and billing services. Finance and Data Operations are centralised in Poland, the Philippines and India.

Fees and other sums paid as consideration for acquiring a licence for gaining access to an area where extractive activities are performed. Administrative government fees that are not specifically related to the extractive sector, or to access to extractive resources, are excluded. Also excluded are payments made in return for services provided by a government.
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OECD stands for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development which is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
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