The Marshall Islands register
has introduced a new pricing scheme to increase its competitiveness in big ships types such as Capesizes and VLCCs. The scheme came into effect on September 1, 2002.
"We reduced annual tonnage tax three
years ago from .25 a gross ton to .20 a net ton, and now we have launched an alternative scheme that is more favourable for the big ships", said Bill Gallagher, president of International Registries, Inc., which runs the register.
He said the register would reach 15 million gross tons and 500 vessels by the end of 2001, and 20 million tons gross by 2004. He said electronic recording of mortgages, the absence of hidden costs like consular fees and low cost seafarers documentation were aiding the rapid growth.
"The register is dominant in the U.S. market, but fast growth is coming from Greece and Germany, with over a hundred vessels", he said.