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Hong Kong planning tax incentives for marine insurers

Hong Kong is planning a number of tax incentives to promote marine insurance, reinsurance and specialty insurance as the city tries to make up lost ground in the fight with Singapore for regional business.

“We are also exploring further tax incentives and regulatory changes to spur the development of marine insurance, specialty insurance and reinsurance in Hong Kong. We will soon consult the industry on these new measures,” financial secretary Paul Chan was quoted by local media as saying at an insurance industry event. No further specific details were provided.

There have long been complaints from the maritime industry in the city about the lack of government financial incentives in comparison to Hong Kong’s southern competitor.

Read More: Hong Kong proposes tax cuts to boost maritime industry

A report by Hong Kong’s Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) had as recently as last year recommended that the city could follow Singapore’s example of offering a 10% tax rate to insurers for writing both onshore and offshore marine hull and liability cover to help build up market volume.

Noting that these incentives had been successful in attracting international marine insurers and brokers to set up shop in Singapore, FSDC pointedly said: “Hong Kong should consider introducing tax incentives to encourage direct insurers, reinsurers and brokers to establish or expand their presence in Hong Kong, and to place itself in a level playing field with other competitors in this region.”

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