Sweden to introduce tonnage tax

The government of Sweden has proposed the introduction of a tonnage tax system aiming to level the playing field between domestic and shipping companies from other European countries, according to the Gothenburg Port Authority (GPA).

Sweden’s Minister for Infrastructure Anna Johansson presented the government’s maritime strategy at Donsö Shipping Meet 2015, revealing that the Swedish tonnage tax will be introduced in summer of 2016.

Swedish ships have been registered under flags of convenience for many years. Last year, the Swedish merchant fleet decreased further by six ships, making it 320 in all, GPA says.

Sweship, formerly the Swedish Shipowners’ Association, estimates that the introduction of the tonnage tax will over the next ten years result in 300 new ships sailing under the Swedish flag and 17,000 new jobs.

“The tonnage tax is an important element in achieving a more equitable level of competition for the Swedish merchant fleet. This will reinforce the whole of the shipping industry in Sweden,” said Magnus Kårestedt, Port of Gothenburg Chief Executive.

“In purely concrete terms this means that we will see more ships sailing under the Swedish flag at the Port of Gothenburg and at the same time an increase in peripheral shipping operations.”

The Swedish government regards the introduction of the tonnage tax as an integral part of the country’s ambition to have the lowest level of unemployment in the EU by 2020. 

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