Greece has submitted a fresh proposal which includes hiking shipping taxes and to gradually remove the industry's special tax status to the EU in a bid to secure a 53.5 billion euro ($59bn) rescue package to help cover its debts until 2018 and stave off bankruptcy.
According to reports among the tax proposals is increased tax on shipping companies, which currently enjoy preferential treatment under the Greek constitution. No details of what the higher taxes would be were available.
However taxing the shipping industry is a risky gamble, given the important part that shipping plays in Greece's struggling economy.
Tony Foster, chief executive of Marine Capital, a fund management firm that oversees investments in the global shipping business has warned that Greece shouldn
't look to its shipping industry to help raise the tax revenues it desperately needs to secure a bailout deal, according to a CNBC report.
The chances of the Greek government getting
more tax revenues out of the shipping industry were "absolutely nil," he said.
Shipping is one of Greece's few healthy industries, however, accounting for 7 percent of the country's economy. In addition, the Hellenic fleet is the world's most valuable at $106 billion, accounting for 19 percent of the world's tankers.
The implementation of any fiscal changes is likely to cause an exodus of owners to other maritime hubs around the world. Both Singapore and Hong Kong have sent delegations to Greece in the past six months to attempt to woo Greek shipowners to Asia.