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Greek shipping faces higher taxes under last ditch economic reform package

Greek shipping faces higher taxes under last ditch economic reform package
Greek shipping companies are set for higher tonnage tax and phasing out of special treatment if an economic reform package sent to the EU late on Thursday are agreed.

The package put forward the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is reported to include EUR13bn in austerity measures including tax rises and pension cuts in return for a EUR53.5bn third bailout package.

According to the Greek Reporter which published the full text of the proposal it stated it would "increase the rate of the tonnage tax and phase out special tax treatments of the shipping industry." No details of the quantum of increase were given.

The preferential tax treatment of shipping is written into the country's constitution and earnings made by shipowners abroad cannot be taxed. In 2012 as leader of Tsipras as leader of Syriza pledged to abolish the “the provocative 58 different tax exemptions" the shipping industry enjoys. However, yesterday's economic reform proposal is the first move the Prime Minister has made in that direction since coming to power in January.

Corporation tax is also to be increased and value-added tax breaks for Greek islands scrapped.

On the privatisation front the government will announce binding bid dates for the privatisation of the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki for no later than October.

An emergency Euro zone summit will be held on Sunday to decide whether the EU will accept the proposals.