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 received such as street cleaning and street lighting.
Representations by protocol directorate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to missions in 2016 led to the settlement of outstanding debts by a number of missions.
As at 27 June 2016, the total amount of outstanding NNDR payments, due before 31 December 2015, owed by foreign diplomatic missions as advised by the Valuation Office Agency is £907,976, an increase of 22% over the 2014 figure, as reported in the 2015 WMS (£743,858). However, £40,838 of this outstanding debt is owed by Syria— which is not currently represented in the UK and we have therefore been unable to pursue this debt. A further £87,020 is owed by Iran, the majority of which was accrued during its embassy’s closure between 2011 and 2015. The Iranian embassy has now reopened and the FCO will be requesting payment of what is owed. Four missions are responsible for just over a third 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
High Commission for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan
Sierra Leone High Commission
Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe
Uganda High Commission
Embassy of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
High Commission for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Embassy of the Republic of Liberia
Malaysian High Commission
High Commission for the Republic of Zambia
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Kenya High Commission
Embassy of the Republic of Albania
High Commission for the Republic of Cameroon
High Commission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Embassy of Ukraine
Embassy of the Republic of Angola
Embassy of the Gambia
Embassy of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
Figures for previous years are available in the Secretary for State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs’ written statement to the House on 16 July 2015, Official Report, column 43WS (HCWS133).