Accounting policy

A contingent liability is:

  • a possible obligation that arises from past events and whose existence will be confirmed only by the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events not wholly within the control of the entity, or
  • a present obligation that arises from past events but is not recognized because:
    • it is not probable that an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits will be required to settle the obligation, or
    • the amount of the obligation cannot be measured with sufficient reliability.

Contingent liabilities are not recognized in the consolidated financial statements, except if they arise from a business combination. They are disclosed unless the possibility of an outflow of economic benefits is remote.

In € million





Liabilities and commitments of third parties guaranteed by the Company





Environmental contingent liabilities





Litigation and other major commitments










The liabilities and commitments of third parties guaranteed by the Company relate mainly to guarantees given in the framework of:

  • RusVinyl, the joint venture with SIBUR for the construction and operation of a PVC plant in Russia. A guarantee of €133 million at December 31, 2017 (€152 million at the end of 2016) has been provided on a several basis by each sponsor, SolVin/Solvay and Sibur, for the benefit of the lenders and which corresponds for each to 50% of the amount in principal of RusVinyl project finance plus interests and costs, and
  • VAT payment (€195 million at December 31, 2017, €295 million at December 31, 2016).

Within the framework of the annual review of contingent liabilities, environmental contingent liabilities for a total amount of €317 million have been identified at December 31, 2017 (€307 million at December 31, 2016).