Proposed Shipping Taxes to Weaken Swedish Maritime Competitiveness?

Image Courtesy: Swedish Shipowners' Association

Further increases in shipping charges in Sweden will deteriorate the competitiveness of the country’s maritime industry, according to the Swedish Shipowners’ Association.

Swedish Maritime Administration raised shipping charges by SEK 100 million (USD 11.9 million) on January 1, 2017. For the coming year, increases by SEK 115 million are planned.

Swedish Shipowners’ Association has criticized the proposal for new tax regulations for shipping and wants the administration to abolish the tariff increases and postpone the introduction of the new tax model. According to the association, an impact assessment should be carried out before, and not after the implementation of the new fee model.

As explained, around 90 percent of the country’s exports and import are transported by sea. Therefore, tax increases represent an issue for the Swedish shipping industry. The association hopes that the industry and the Swedish Maritime Administration can work together in order to achieve the goal of using shipping to a greater extent to solve sustainability and transport challenges, Rikard Engström, CEO of the Swedish Shipowners’ Association, said.

Separately, Swedish shipping company Tallink Silja and Swedish-Danish ferry company HH-Ferries expressed their criticism of the proposed tax regulations.

The two companies referred to the lack of the impact assessment and the lack of environmental governance. They stressed that the proposed model means that environmentally-friendly technologies are no longer economically justifiable to use. As informed, the proposed charging system will increase shipping charges by 20-40 percent.

World Maritime News Staff

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