Malta tonnage tax scheme EU approved

Ms. Michelle de Maria co-authored with Wojtek Gadzała | 12 Jan 2018

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On 19th December 2017, the European Commission conditionally approved the Malta tonnage tax scheme for a period of 10 years.

The Commission’s investigation regarding the compatibility of the Malta tonnage tax regime with EU state aid rules was opened in 2012. In the course of its investigations the Commission questioned some characteristics of the Malta tonnage tax scheme which, in its view, could lead to undue competition distortions. In response Malta committed to introduce a number of changes to the scheme, i.e. to restrict the scope of the scheme to maritime transport and to remove tax exemptions for shareholders which are deemed to constitute State Aid.

Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy commented that "by encouraging the registration of ships in the EU, the scheme will enable the European shipping industry to keep up its high social and environmental standards”.

The full, non-confidential version of the decision will be made available on the European Commission’s website in near future. 

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