Wednesday Jul 30, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greece taxes foreign-flagged ships for first time amid crisis

By Michelle Wiese Bockmann & Tom Stoukas

Greece will tax merchant ships managed by companies based in the country and sailing under foreign flags for the first time ever as the nation’s debt crisis spurs the government to raise revenue.

Amendments to a bill passed by lawmakers at the weekend imposed a so-called tonnage tax on the vessels, the Ministry of Finance in Athens said today by e-mail. The government aims to raise 80 million euros ($106 million) this year and 60 million euros in 2014 from the levy, the state-run Athens News Agency reported Jan. 9.

Greek shipowners control the largest portion of the world merchant fleet. The state is targeting an estimated 762 owners, who pay no tax on international earnings brought into the country under rules incorporated in the constitution since 1967. Lobbying by owners barred the imposition of any further taxes, Theodore Veniamis, president of the Union of Greek Shipowners, said by e-mail Jan. 14.

“Shipowners and the management companies have been excluded, as I had to convince the government to do so,” he said.

The e-mail didn’t show when the tax would take effect. The measure “imposes the levy for the first time,” the ministry said. The tax applies only to tonnage of foreign-flagged vessels, rather than their earnings, Veniamis said. A tonnage tax is charged by a country where a ship is registered and flagged and is based on the vessel’s size and capacity.

3,848 vessels

Ships controlled by Greek companies and flagged elsewhere came to 3,848 totaling 153.1 million gross tons as of March 2011, according to figures on the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping website. That compared with 2,014 vessels totaling 43.4 million tons sailing under Greece’s flag as of the end of the year. The data were the latest available.

Greek shipowners remitted more than $175 billion in untaxed earnings in 10 years until 2011, according to Bank of Greece figures cited in the union’s annual report.

Companies from cargo handlers to travel agents that benefit from Greece’s position as a leading vessel-owning nation might be vulnerable to sudden changes in taxes on the shipping industry, the Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research, a private non-profit researcher, said in a study last week. Navios Maritime Holdings Inc. (NM), a Piraeus, Greece-based vessel owner, contributed to the study, it showed.

Job losses?

“An abrupt, and without due care, change of the taxation regime in the shipping sector may lead to reduction of the economic activity in the sector and across the economy, significant job losses and even lower net tax revenues,” the foundation said.

Greeks controlled 16.2 percent of the world merchant fleet by early 2011, giving them the largest share of capacity, according to the latest figures from the Geneva-based United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Contributions from providing marine-transport services indirectly and directly accounted for 6.1 percent of Greek gross domestic product in 2009, generating 2.7 billion euros to support 192,000 jobs, the foundation said. The industry’s contribution may have since “increased substantially” given the country’s economic contraction, it said.

Greece’s economy may have shrunk as much as 6.5 percent in 2012, the fifth year of recession, according to forecasts in the 2013 budget. The country had a 15.9 billion-euro budget deficit last year, excluding spending by state-controlled enterprises. [Bloomberg]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday Jan 17, 2013 (12:49)  
Deals reached for twin plot on Afandou, for 42 million
More delays and red tape for companies’ tax rebates
Greek shipowners continue to invest in fleet renewal
Trainose sale is not on track
Troika review in Athens unaffected by Paris meeting
A meeting between troika and Greek government officials in Paris at the beginning of September does not mean that representatives of Greece’s lenders will not then travel to Athens to carry ...
Soldiers set to sue over wages
Members of the armed forces and emergency services look set to take legal action to have their wages restored to pre-2012 levels after the government suggested it would not raise their pay t...
Inside News
VOLLEYBALL
Volleyball national team second in European League
Much as the national volleyball team tried to repeat in the finals of the European League the feat it had achieved in the semifinals, it failed to overturn the advantage Montenegro had got f...
SOCCER
Ranieri says he has little to change in Greek national team
The Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) presented Claudio Ranieri as the new Greece coach for the next couple of years, after the Italian manager signed his contract in Athens on Friday. “I l...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Through insecurity comes optimism
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras recently expressed his optimism regarding the quota of 180 Parliamentary deputies required for the election of Greece’s next president, in order for the countr...
EDITORIAL
Futile policy
The policy that Israel has been pursuing vis-a-vis the Palestinians is wrong and futile. Current tactics have failed to resolve the security issue and, at the same time, they are rapidly dra...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Deals reached for twin plot on Afandou, for 42 million
2. More delays and red tape for companies’ tax rebates
3. Greek shipowners continue to invest in fleet renewal
4. Trainose sale is not on track
5. Industry asks for gov’t intervention
6. Troika review in Athens unaffected by Paris meeting
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece names fifth privatization agency chief in four years
2. Archaeological council bans international climbers' gathering at Meteora
3. World’s largest solar boat on Greek mission
4. Venizelos to meet Nimetz in Athens
5. Tsipras discusses Cyprus with Anastasiades in Athens
6. More than 120,000 households to receive special benefit
Today
This Week
1. Unequal after death
2. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
3. Hedge fund Dromeus turns Greek tragedy to triumph with 160 pct gain
4. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
5. Front-line threats
6. Defense Minister Avramopoulos to represent Greece at European Commission
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.