International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens has welcomed a decision by the European Commission to keep in place in their current form the guidelines relating to state aid to maritime transport, which include EU tonnage tax regimes. The decision follows an EC review of the guidelines and has been formally communicated to the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA).
Sue Bill, a tax partner with Moore Stephens, says, “This is extremely good news for the shipping industry, both in the U.K. and elsewhere in the EU, which is facing severe competition from countries such as Singapore. It means they can now rely on a stable tax regime for the foreseeable future. It is understood that there are some outstanding issues relating to the guidelines which are still to be clarified. But it is believed that these are relatively minor points, and should not dilute the satisfactory overall conclusion of the review, which had generated widespread interest and concern in the shipping industry.