Marianne Lie, Director General, NSA
The Norwegian Shipowners Association (NSA), which for many years has bemoaned its government’s shipping policy, takes a positive view of a White Paper presented on April 2, 2004.
According to NSA, For the first time in many years a government is proposing a new and dynamic shipping policy.
The industry is pleased with the Government's ambitions to ensure European tax conditions for Norwegian shipowners, said Marianne Lie, Director General of the Norwegian Shipowners' Association. It is now important that the Storting should base its forthcoming discussion on the need for a harmonization with the systems found in the EU, as the Government points out in its White Paper. NSA said it looks forward to even more specific indications of the arrangement and formulation of the tax system through further deliberations in the Storting, and in connection with next year's government budget.
The White Paper proposes to continue the net wage arrangement for offshore companies, and also to extend the trade area for NIS ships to include the Norwegian shelf. The Shipowners' Association is very pleased that the Norwegian maritime competence in this field will be assured a future, and that the international competitiveness of this segment of the fleet will be strengthened.
For companies operating ferries in international service the current net wage arrangement will be continued until the end of 2005. The Government indicates a possibility of opening the NIS to this segment of the fleet as well. The Government proposes a competence model for other types of tonnage, by which all officers and crew serving in positions requiring a certificate of competency will be included in the net wage arrangement.
The Shipowners' Association expects the Storting to ensure net wages for all seamen in the NOR register.
The Government announces that it will form a working group of representatives of users and authorities to examine ways of improving the NIS register's competitiveness and its attraction as a quality register for Norwegian and foreign shipowners. The industry welcomes this initiative.
A review of the fees applying to the NOR and NIS registers is also announced.