Annika Soom writes about new tax changes in the maritime sector

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Annika Soom writes about new tax changes in the maritime sector

As of 1 July, several legislative amendments entered into force that are designed to strengthen Estonia’s competitiveness as a maritime shipping nation and contribute to the development of the entire sector. Annika Soom writes about the details of new tax benefits in the special Logistikauudised edition of the newspaper Äripäev. Annika’s article discussing the content of Estonia’s newly introduced maritime legislative package in some detail was also published in European Taxation (Volume 60, No 8, July 2020), an internationally recognised journal of the IBFD.

In short, the maritime package is a set of legislative provisions similar to those enacted by several other EU member states. In addition to simplifying the registration of ships under the Estonian flag, several tax benefits also came into force with the package, aimed at motivating companies in the maritime sector to bring their business to Estonia. The tax amendments affect both legal and natural persons, or both companies in the maritime sector and crew members working on ships.

The primary purpose of the tax benefits is to provide an additional incentive for maritime shipping companies to bring their operations to Estonia. “Although the first step to develop the maritime sector has been taken, what is more important than the content of the new measures is whether and how they can be implemented in reality,” writes Annika in the summary of her article. “Electronic solutions and tax benefits alone are not enough to establish a new innovative maritime country. Cross-sectoral and well-thought-out cooperation is needed, and above all the state’s continuing desire to make a real contribution to the development of the sector.”