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SSA draws up maritime 'wish list'

SSA draws up maritime 'wish list'

Singapore: The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), has put up a wish list for the maritime sector in anticipation of the mid-February Singapore Annual Budget Statement. The SSA which represents some 283 members of Singapore's diverse and growing shipping and maritime industries, sees this Budget coming at a crucial time for the shipping industry in the region, which faces rising costs, mounting environmental pressures and increased regulatory controls.

While acknowledging that the government has done a superb job in positioning Singapore as an International Maritime Centre (IMC), SSA President, SS Teo said its members see opportunities for Singapore to become even more attractive and competitive with the right tax and fiscal incentives and regulatory framework. Teo said that while the overall shipping markets look positive, especially in the tanker and dry bulk sectors, the market outlook for container operators is expected to be tough in 2007 and for the next two years. SSA's wide-ranging 'Wish List' include amendments to international tax treaties, the expansion and extension of the Approved International Shipping Enterprise Scheme (AIS), and financial incentives for locally-flagged ships to meet new international regulations.

The SSA would like more tax treaties concluded, especially with Latin American countries. SSA would also like to see tax treaties with Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, UAE and Chile be broadened to include shipping. As for treaties with Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which currently enoy 50% exemption, the SSA would like full exemption instead. It also urges that freight tax exemption matters are clarified with Vietnam.

Another of SSA's wish is for Singapore's port operator PSA to invest in infrastructure that will meet the requirements of the increased volume of containers bound for US, and maybe soon, the EU, to be scanned under C-TPAT requirements ( while ensuring that physical port operations does not slow down).

The SSA is also hoping for subsidies to cover project costs of testing environmentally friendly modifications to ships and actual retrofitting Singapore flagged ships. This, it reckons, will make the Singapore flag more attractive to shipowners, especially as the environmental initiatives are adopted globally.  [23/01/07]

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