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Tonnage tax ‘flagging’

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The Tonnage Tax (Prescribed and Specified Matters) Regulations, SI 2018/238, prescribe the period from 2 October 2014 to 1 October 2017 as the three-year period over which HM Treasury must determine whether the percentage of ships registered with EU or EEA member states has decreased as a proportion of the worldwide tonnage tax fleet.

If that percentage has not decreased, the Treasury can designate subsequent financial years, beginnning with financial year 2018, as ‘excepted years’ for tonnage tax purposes. An excepted year means shipping companies starting to operate vessels registered outside the EU and EEA do not have to carry out a ‘flagging test’ to determine whether they qualify for tonnage tax.