Sweden to instate new tonnage tax regime from 2016

Sweden will introduce a new tonnage tax regime in 2016 that aims to encourage more ships to sail under the Swedish flag, under which only around 100 vessels are registered.

The new scheme is pending approval from the EU Commission, after which it will come into force on July 1, 2016 at the earliest.

The Swedish Shipowners’ Association has called the tonnage tax regime a “lifeline” for the country’s shipping industry in previous media reports.

Once the regime is instated, a vessel’s income will be calculated at a flat rate based on its net tonnage and not on the fiscal results of its trading activity.

The new legislation also means it will not be possible to switch between tonnage taxation and conventional taxation in order to obtain tax advantages, once the new scheme is in place.

To qualify for tonnage taxation, vessels must be over 100 gross tonnes, must trade outside of domestic waters and be owned, managed and flagged in Sweden.

“I am pleased that we can introduce a tonnage tax scheme to benefit the maritime cluster, and I look forward to having more ships sailing under the Swedish flag. We know that this is very important to employment in the sector,” said Anna Johansson, Sweden’s minister of infrastructure, in a statement today.

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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