Bad news for Greek Shipowners? Tonnage tax under European Commission scrutiny

Legal
Photo by Harry van Versendaal
Photo by Harry van Versendaal

Upon completion of a long-winded ex officio inquiry into the Greek taxation regime for shipping, the European Commission found that the pertinent legal framework includes certain provisions that may be deemed incompatible with EU state aid rules and, in particular, with the ‘EU State Aid Guidelines for Maritime Transport’ (Commission Communication C (2004) 43), which seek to maintain a level playing field for shipping within the European Union. Accordingly, by virtue of Decision C (2015) 9019 final of 18.12.2015, the Commission addressed a set of proposals to the Greek government, calling for the amendment of the said framework in such a manner as to achieve its compliance with the aforementioned EU rules.

The Commission’s inquiry focused primarily on Law 27/1975 ‘on the taxation of ships, application of a duty for the development of merchant shipping, establishment of foreign shipping companies and related matters.’ According to the said law, owners and ...

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