No news may be good news for UK shipping

The 2009 UK Budget did not include any measures, which significantly affected the shipping sector.

This could be regarded as good news for the industry, accountant Moore Stephens said. Although the government had been asked to make changes to UK tonnage tax, the 2009 Budget made no mention of it. Moore Stephens tax partner Sue Bill said; “Possible changes to the tonnage tax regime could have included an amendment to the EU flagging rules excluding ships timechartered into the fleet, and clarification of the position with regard to the changes proposed in January 2008 which were later withdrawn. But these are complex issues to resolve as they depend on agreement with the European Commission. “In the current economic climate, it is not surprising that the relatively minor change to the tonnage tax regime which has been requested has not been made, and that the UK government’s position has not been clarified. Companies in the shipping sector may in any case have more pressing financial concerns at the moment. And, overall, the fact that there is not a great deal of specific interest for the shipping sector might be regarded as good news, because the taxation regime at least continues to be reasonably stable,“ she concluded.

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