Changes recently approved by the Greek parliament regarding the country’s tax laws will impact companies in the shipping industry, according to Moore Stephens, an international accountant and shipping adviser.
Greek shipowners will now be required to pay tonnage tax on ships operating under flags other than the Greek flag that are managed by companies based in Greece, or offshore companies that have a branch in Greece, operating under Law 89 of the Greek constitution.
“This new requirement to pay tonnage tax, effective from [Jan. 1, 2013], mirrors that which is already in existence for the Greek-flag merchant fleet,” said Michael Kotsapas, a partner with Moore Stephens shipping team, in a written statement. “A large part of the Greek fleet currently sails under foreign flags, and therefore is impacted by the new tonnage tax regulations.”
A new range of levies has also been introduced for companies providing services to the shipping sector in Greece. These changes affect ship brokers, insurance brokers, agents, average adjusters, charterers and others, irrespective of whether they provide services to ships under Greek or foreign flag, but exclude ships trading on purely domestic routes. Shipowners and ship management companies are also exempt.