Can a customer be considered as the timeless asset of a permanent establishment?

Change of transfer pricing policy and intra-group transfer of customers: The lack of automaticity recalled by the Conseil d'Etat (BUPA ruling of 21 December 2022).

In the Bupa Insurance Ltd. case, we were able to understand whether a customer can be considered as the timeless asset of a permanent establishment. 

In this case, the French permanent establishment was not obliged under the arm's length principle to be compensated for the transfer of customers to the UK head office because the customers did not constitute assets of the permanent establishment.


The Conseil d’Etat made clear that a transfer pricing policy change does not prove an alteration of the business model. And the amended future compensation of a branch is not evidence per se that customers were transferred to its headquarters.

Sabine Sardou, partner & attorney at law, international tax & transfer princing


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