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Greek Shipping Industry Faces 'Cargo Tax'

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

05 November 2012


The government of Greece has signed a memorandum of understanding with the shipping industry over a new cargo tax, in the expectation that the measure will raise EUR200m (USD260m) by 2016.

Under Greek law, ship management companies which run their shipping fleets from Greece are currently exempt from all Greek taxes on profits. There is, however, a tonnage tax on Greek cargo ships that trade regularly between Greek and foreign ports, or exclusively between foreign ports, although the amount was reduced by 50% in 2002.

In October, the European Commission asked for details from Greece about the tonnage tax as part of an investigation into competition rules.

Greek governments have historically been fearful of taxing the shipping industry, in case companies simply relocated abroad, and industry figures in June warned against left-wing opposition plans to end tax breaks. However, the head of the Hellenic Shipowners’ Association, Theodoros Veniamis, has said that shippers are willing to pay tax as a contribution to the national effort to deal with the country’s financial troubles.

TAGS: tonnage tax | tax | marine | European Commission | law | Greece | tax breaks | Europe

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