Shippers paid 17.5 pct more tax last year

Shippers paid 17.5 pct more tax last year

State revenues from the taxing of oceangoing shipping amounted to 63 million euros last year, posting a year-on-year increase of 17.5 percent, according to data presented in Parliament by Alternate Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis this week.

The figures showed that 45.4 million euros came in as a result of the voluntary taxation agreement signed in July 2013 by the state and the Union of Greek Shipowners (EEE). That voluntary tax brought 40.5 million euros into the state coffers in 2014. Additional takings came from the tax on ships’ capacity, which last year amounted to 17.6 million euros, up from 13.1 million in 2014 and 14 million in 2013.

A total of 524 shipping companies are currently participating in the voluntary taxation scheme, or more than 90 percent of the total fleet managed by Greeks in terms of capacity.

Nevertheless, this revenue increase does not mean the sector will escape any new demands in taxation. The draft agreement for the bailout review includes a clause according to which the Greek government will examine and gradually withdraw the tax regulations that benefit the shipping sector through exemptions and other special exceptions. That will be based on directions recently dictated by the European Commission. The draft agreement also provides for a one-year extension of the voluntary taxation agreement, up to 2018.

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