The EFTA Surveillance Authority approved a Norwegian aid scheme granting tax refunds to ship owners. Under the scheme, ship owners get refunds of taxes and social security contributions paid for seafarers on ships registered in Norway. The objective of the scheme is to safeguard and promote the employment of EEA seafarers on Norwegian vessels, to secure recruitment and qualified training of seafarers and to improve the competitive position of companies employing such seafarers.
The maritime transport sector is subject to fierce international competition. Several non-EEA States have developed open shipping registers with an attractive fiscal climate. This has resulted in a number of ship owners flagging out their vessels to ship registers outside the EEA. This in turn has caused many ship owners to use crews of non-EEA state nationals, as seafarers from Norway and other EEA States generally require higher wages than seafarers from third countries. 
The scheme applies to certain categories of ships registered in the two Norwegian ship registers (NOR and NIS). 
ESA has approved the scheme with a duration of 10 years. The Norwegian authorities have committed to publish information about the aid granted on a central website. 

Informatiesoort: Nieuws

Rubriek: Europees belastingrecht

H&I: Previews


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