Note J: Contingent liabilities

Akzo Nobel N.V. is parent of the group’s fiscal unity in the Netherlands, and is therefore liable for the liabilities of said fiscal unity as a whole.

Akzo Nobel N.V. has declared in writing that it accepts joint and several liability for contractual debts of certain Dutch consolidated companies (Article 403 of Book 2 of the Dutch Civil Code). These debts, at year-end 2018, aggregating €0.4 billion (2017: €0.7 billion), are included in the Consolidated balance sheet.

Akzo Nobel N.V. has withdrawn its declarations of joint and several liability under Article 403 of Book 2 of the Dutch Civil Code for certain Dutch former Specialty Chemicals subsidiaries divested as per October 1, 2018 and is following the procedures to terminate its residual liability under those declarations under Article 404 of Book 2 of the Dutch Civil Code. Several objections against the termination of residual liability are pending and Akzo Nobel N.V. and Nouryon are cooperating to get these resolved.

Additionally, at year-end 2018, guarantees were issued on behalf of consolidated companies for an amount of €0.2 billion (2017: €1.6 billion). The debts and liabilities of the consolidated companies underlying these guarantees are included in the Consolidated balance sheet or in the amount of commitments in respect of operational lease contracts as disclosed in Note 22 of the Consolidated financial statements.