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Central functions

Headquarters and central functions provide business support in communications, finance, health, human resources, information technology, legal services, real estate and security.

We centralise services to support our businesses and these services are located where the required skills and expertise are available. For example, central services could include a human resources team developing global training programmes or an information technology team purchasing software used across Shell.

Centralising services enables us to bring together and share specialised expertise and advice, while reducing costs. The costs of centralised services are incurred in direct support of business operations and need to be fairly charged to the Group entities benefiting from these activities. This is known as transfer pricing and is closely monitored by governments and tax authorities. They check that costs like these are charged appropriately and only once.

Read more in Our approach to transfer pricing.

Transfer pricing
This refers to the setting of the price for goods and services sold between related entities within a group. Transfer pricing should be based on the arm’s length principle. This means that profits are allocated to the countries where the relevant economic activity takes place and cannot be artificially taken somewhere else.
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