WHAT OTHER MARITIME COUNTRIES DO

Almost every other European country offers some form of seafarer tax relief. And many go even further than the UK, making seafarers exempt from national insurance and other social costs.

The 2005 European Registers Study noted that support for crew costs is 'the economically most important measure' in most member states - and all the measures have to be approved as compatible with the European Commission's state aid guidelines for maritime transport.

Among the major European countries operating schemes to offset crew costs are:

  • Belgium: tax and social security exemptions
  • Denmark: reduced rates of income tax
  • Finland: income tax refunds and reduced rates of social security contributions
  • France: all social charges for seafarers reimbursed to employers
  • Germany: tax-free bonuses for seafarers and 40% refunds to owners
  • Greece: reduced rates of tax and social security contributions
  • Ireland: special income tax allowances for seafarers and social cost refunds to owners
  • Italy: full exemption of social contributions and no income tax requirements for seafarers
    on IIR second register ships
  • Lithuania: zero income tax for seafarers
  • Netherlands: taxes and social contributions not payable for personnel on Dutch-flagged ships if operating company is based in the country
  • Norway: tax refunds and concessions for Norwegian-resident seafarers
  • Portugal: no income tax or social contributions for seafarers on Portuguese second register ships
  • Spain: reduced rates of tax and social costs for seafarers on second register ships
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