Italy debates tonnage tax changes

The Italian shipping industry is split today into two parts with Confitarma (backed by Grimaldi Group) on one side and the newly created Assarmatori (led by Messina Group’s CEO Stefano Messina and supported by MSC, Italia Marittima, Grandi Navi Veloci among others) on the other side.

The former aims at maintaining unchanged the international register of ships and the tonnage tax granted to Italy-based shipping companies and Italy-flagged ships. The latter is seeking to get the local international register to be opened to companies who employ Italian seafarers onboard even if the ships are managed abroad or sail under other EU flags.

A new idea, which may be an interesting compromise and on which both Confitarma and Assarmatori are said to be available for cooperation, has been promoted by Nicola Coccia, chairman of Gestioni Armatoriali.

“In order to avoid a huge exodus of ships from the country, we had better think about extending the positive effects of the tonnage tax and of the international register not only to shipowning companies but also to ship managers,” said Coccia at a shipping conference held in Genoa during the Genoa Shipping Week. “The essential condition would be for a ship management company to be completely in charge for the manning and the management activities of the vessel,” he added.

The proposed compromise seems to be very much inspired to what is the current model in Greece where the ownership of the vessels are completely divided from the management activities which are locally based.

Nicola Capuzzo

Nicola is a highly qualified journalist focused on transport economics, logistics and shipping with broad experience in both online and printed media. Specialties: shipping, ship finance, banking, commodities and port economics. He regularly interviews Europe's top shipowner executives for Maritime CEO magazine.
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