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EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) approved a new ten year special tonnage tax regime for shipping in Norway 14 December 2017

The Norwegian tonnage tax scheme exempts maritime transport from the usual corporate tax rate. Ship owners will instead pay taxes based on ship weight, resulting in a significant reduced tax rate. The new scheme will be valid from 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2027.
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Author: Partner Ulf Sørdal and Senior Lawyer Torgeir Fjeldskaar

The approved scheme has introduced important changes compared to the scheme approved by EEA in the period 2007-2016:

  1. Bareboat charter was previously accepted without limitations as part of the tonnage tax scheme. Under the revised scheme, the company/group may charter out on bareboat:
  • a maximum of 50 percent of total net tonnage of qualifying ships
  • a maximum duration of 5 years, with an option of 3 year extension
  • only tonnage with its strategic leadership exercised within the EEA (strategic leadership is defined as general management or board of directors level).
  1. Charter in of qualifying ships on time and voyage charter not registered in an EEA-country is proposed limited to 90 percent of total net tonnage of qualifying ships within the company/group.
  2. Vessels with no propulsion machinery is not accepted, except if the main activity is traffic on domestic lakes/rivers.
  3. Windmill farm vessels will be included in the scheme.

The ESA-press release can be found here, and the full letter from ESA to the Royal Ministry of Finance can be found here.

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Ulf H. Sørdal
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