Independent Practitioner’s Report on a Limited Assurance Engagement on Non-financial Reporting 
To Hamburger Hafen and Logistik Aktiengesellschaft (HHLA), Hamburg
We have performed a limited assurance engagement on the combined non-financial statement of HHLA AG, Hamburg, (hereinafter the “Company”) for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2022 (hereinafter the “Combined Non-financial Statement”) included and identified in various sections of the combined management report.
Not subject to our assurance engagement are the external sources of documentation or expert opinions mentioned in the Combined Non-financial Statement or the voluntary additional information marked as unaudited.
Responsibility of the Executive Directors
The executive directors of the Company are responsible for the preparation of the Combined Non-financial Statement in accordance with §§ (Articles) 315c in conjunction with 289c to 289e HGB (“Handelsgesetzbuch”: “German Commercial Code”) and Article 8 of REGULATION (EU) 2020/852 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 18 June 2020 on establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investment and amending Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 (hereinafter the "EU Taxonomy Regulation”) and the Delegated Acts adopted thereunder, as well as for making their own interpretation of the wording and terms contained in the EU Taxonomy Regulation and the Delegated Acts adopted thereunder, as set out in section EU taxonomy of the Combined Non-financial Statement.
This responsibility includes the selection and application of appropriate non-financial reporting methods and making assumptions and estimates about individual non-financial disclosures of the Company that are reasonable in the circumstances. Furthermore, the executive directors are responsible for such internal controls as the executive directors consider necessary to enable the preparation of a Combined Non-financial Statement that is free from material misstatement whether due to fraud or error.
The EU Taxonomy Regulation and the Delegated Acts issued thereunder contain wording and terms that are still subject to considerable interpretation uncertainties and for which clarifications have not yet been published in every case. Therefore, the executive directors have disclosed their interpretation of the EU Taxonomy Regulation and the Delegated Acts adopted thereunder in section EU taxonomy of the Combined Non-financial Statement. They are responsible for the defensibility of this interpretation. Due to the immanent risk that indeterminate legal terms may be interpreted differently, the legal conformity of the interpretation is subject to uncertainties.
Independence and Quality Control of the Audit Firm
We have complied with the German professional provisions regarding independence as well as other ethical requirements.
Our audit firm applies the national legal requirements and professional standards – in particular the Professional Code for German Public Auditors and German Chartered Auditors (“Berufssatzung für Wirtschaftsprüfer und vereidigte Buchprüfer”: “BS WP/vBP”) as well as the Standard on Quality Control 1 published by the Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer (Institute of Public Auditors in Germany; IDW): Requirements to quality control for audit firms (IDW Qualitätssicherungsstandard 1: Anforderungen an die Qualitätssicherung in der Wirtschaftsprüferpraxis – IDW QS 1) – and accordingly maintains a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
Responsibility of the Assurance Practitioner
Our responsibility is to express a conclusion with limited assurance on the Combined Non-financial Statement based on our assurance engagement.
We conducted our assurance engagement in accordance with International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised): Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information, issued by the IAASB. This Standard requires that we plan and perform the assurance engagement to obtain limited assurance about whether any matters have come to our attention that cause us to believe that the Company’s Combined Non-financial Statement, other than the external sources of documentation or expert opinions mentioned in the Combined Non-financial Statement, are not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with §§ 315c in conjunction with 289c to 289e HGB and the EU Taxonomy Regulation and the Delegated Acts issued thereunder as well as the interpretation by the executive directors disclosed in section EU taxonomy of the Combined Non-financial Statement.
In a limited assurance engagement the procedures performed are less extensive than in a reasonable assurance engagement, and accordingly a substantially lower level of assurance is obtained. The selection of the assurance procedures is subject to the professional judgement of the assurance practitioner.
In the course of our assurance engagement, we have, amongst other things, performed the following assurance procedures and other activities:
- Gain an understanding of the structure of the Company’s sustainability organisation and stakeholder engagement
- Inquiries of the executive directors and relevant employees involved in the preparation of the Combined Non-financial Statement about the preparation process, about the internal control system relating to this process and about disclosures in the Combined Non-financial Statement
- Identification of likely risks of material misstatement in the Combined Non-financial Statement
- Analytical procedures on selected disclosures in the Combined Non-financial Statement
- Reconciliation of selected disclosures with the corresponding data in the consolidated financial statements and management report
- Evaluation of the presentation of the Combined Non-financial Statement
- Evaluation of the process to identify taxonomy-eligible and taxonomy-aligned economic activities and the corresponding disclosures in the Combined Non-financial Statement
- Inquiries on the relevance of climate-risks
- Evaluation of CO2 compensation certificates exclusively with regard to their existence, but not with regard to their impact
In determining the disclosures in accordance with Article 8 of the EU Taxonomy Regulation, the executive directors are required to interpret undefined legal terms. Due to the immanent risk that undefined legal terms may be interpreted differently, the legal conformity of their interpretation and, accordingly, our assurance engagement thereon are subject to uncertainties.
Based on the assurance procedures performed and evidence obtained, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the Combined Non-financial Statement of the Company for the period from 1 January to 31 December 2022 is not prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with §§ 315c in conjunction with 289c to 289e HGB and the EU Taxonomy Regulation and the Delegated Acts issued thereunder as well as the interpretation by the executive directors disclosed in section EU taxonomy of the Combined Non-financial Statement.
We do not express an assurance opinion on the external sources of documentation or expert opinions mentioned in the Combined Non-financial Statement.
Restriction of Use
We draw attention to the fact that the assurance engagement was conducted for the Company’s purposes and that the report is intended solely to inform the Company about the result of the assurance engagement. Consequently, it may not be suitable for any other purpose than the aforementioned. Accordingly, the report is not intended to be used by third parties for making (financial) decisions based on it. Our responsibility is to the Company. We do not accept any responsibility to third parties. Our assurance opinion is not modified in this respect.
Frankfurt, 16 March 2023
German public auditor
ppa. Meike Beenken
1 PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH has performed a limited assurance engagement on the German version of the combined non-financial statement and issued an independent practitioner`s report in German language, which is authoritative. The following text is a translation of the independent practitioner`s report.