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Shipping Tycoon Returns To Norway

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

04 August 2009


Norwegian shipping magnate, John Fredriksen, owner of the world’s largest oil tanker fleet, has announced that he will re-establish operations in Norway, 31 years on, following Norway’s 2007 decision to make its tax regime more favourable to shipping operators. Fredriksen withdrew his operations in Norway over tax disputes with authorities but has since reluctantly commended the new system as “not bad”.

Following its 2007 decision, Norway now levies a tonnage tax on shipping operators; replacing the gross profits tax system previously in place. The system has significantly reduced the tax burden on shipping operations in Norway.

Fredriksen currently has seven vessels registered with the Norweigan Registry, while another two are to be registered immediately. Decisions are pending on further vessels.

“We have 30-40 new vessels, bulk and tankers, for which we have not decided on any flag yet. We are considering moving some of these to Norway,” Fredriksen said to Norwegian daily newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv.

“As long as the tax is relatively reasonable, there are other things more important than the amount you pay. We have so much business in Norway, so it’s natural to have a shipping presence there,” Fredriksen added.


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