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Singapore celebrates financial incentives for maritime industry

Singapore celebrates financial incentives for maritime industry

Singapore: Maritime industry players ushering in the Year of the Rat at a Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) Lunar New Year cocktail, also cheered some financial measures the Singapore government announced earlier today.

Singapore's Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, delivering the Budget Statement for the Financial Year (FY) 2008 in parliament, said that in keeping with its aim to develop Singapore into an international maritime hub, there will be enhancements to the Maritime Finance Incentive Scheme with effect from 1 April 2008. These will include container leasing activity and to allow partnerships to enjoy the incentive. A container investment enterprise will enjoy a concessionary tax rate of either 5% or 10% on its entire onshore and offshore container leasing income, depending on its commitments. A container investment manager will enjoy a 10% concessionary tax rate on its management fee income.

The government will also extend the administrative concession that all gains from the sale of vessels will not be subject to income tax, so long as the vessels are registered with the Singapore Registry of Ships ("SRS") or owned by Approved International Shipping Enterprise ("AIS") companies, for a further period of five years, from 2010 to 2014. The scope of the concession is also expanded to include gains from the sales of ships which are subsequently leased back as well as gains from the sale of shares in a Special Purpose Company which owns ships.

Other enhancements to shipping incentives include treating foreign exchange gains and gains from risk management activities, that are in connection with and incidental to core shipping operations, as qualifying income under Approved International Shipping Enterprise and Maritime Finance Incentive schemes with effect from 2009. Details of the tax changes for Maritime Services will be released by Singapore's Maritime Port Authority by May 2008

SSA President, SS Teo welcomed these initiatives in the Budget which are expected to have a positive impact on the maritime industry. The SSA represents over 300 members of Singapore's diverse and growing shipping and maritime industries.  [15/02/08]