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London Shipping Week Highlights UK Registry's Perks

by Jason Gorringe,, London

17 September 2013

During the five-day London International Shipping Week conference, which concluded on September 13, 2013, discussions focused on the UK's competitiveness as a hub for shipping and associated industries, and the registry's relative appeal.

On September 11, 2013, the UK Chamber of Shipping and the Government's Maritime and Coastguard Agency co-hosted a seminar for potential international investors, showcasing the UK's quality flag and competitive tax regime.

The two bodies highlighted that the UK Ship Register is recognized as one of the world's best performing flag state administrations, with an excellent safety record.

Debasis Mazumdar, the head of the UK Register at the MCA, explained that the seminar allowed the organization to "explain the benefits of our tonnage tax schemes, and guide [prospective clients] through the process."

"We have top shipping companies from all over the world under this scheme operating from the UK. London continues to be the strongest shipping hub in the world," he said.

Mark Brownrigg, Director-General at the UK Chamber of Shipping, added: "Today's event is another example of industry and Government working together to promote and protect the UK's shipping industry, part of a wider maritime services sector worth in total GBP32bn (USD50.8bn) to UK gross domestic product (GDP) and providing 540,000 UK jobs."

He noted that the announcement from Stena at the conference of its decision to move two large ships to the UK register was timely evidence that the UK is a leading nation in the international shipping arena.

Explaining Stena's decision, the Group's Chief Executive Officer, Dan Sten Olsson explained: "A strong advantage for the UK register is the professionalism and focus on safety, built on long-term experience from the authorities. They also have the requisite understanding of today's commercial realities and the growing competition to attract global shipping companies."

At the end of May 2013 the Register stood at 1,393 ships with a gross tonnage of 16.89m – the 11th largest in the world. This is a figure that has grown more than six-fold since the introduction of the tonnage tax in 2000, a favorable regime whereby shipowners are taxed on the carrying capacity of their ships.

TAGS: tonnage tax | tax | business | marine | services

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