17th Dec 2019
On 16 December 2019, the European Commission approved under EU State aid rules, five schemes to support maritime transport in Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Poland and Sweden.
As far as Cyprus is concerned, the Commission approved the prolongation of a tonnage tax and seafarer scheme in Cyprus. The Commission found that the schemes comply with the rules limiting tonnage taxation to eligible activities and vessel. Furthermore, the commission stated that the Cypriot tonnage tax scheme ensures that shareholders in shipping companies are treated in the same way as shareholders in any other sector.
In addition, the Commission said that all five countries’ “seafarer” schemes would apply benefits to all vessels flying the flag of any EU country.
The Commission concluded that the schemes are in line with EU State aid rules, as they will contribute to the competitiveness of the EU maritime transport sector and encourage ship registration in Europe, while at the same time preserving Europe’s high social, environmental and safety standards and ensuring a level playing field.
This development has been warmly welcomed in Cyprus. There is no doubt that the stability this brings to the shipping sector for at least 10 more years, cements Cyprus’ position as a key player in the global shipping industry.
Our Shipping and Maritime Law team is available to assist you.