New Tax Measures Boost Irish Shipping Industry

The Irish Shipping Industry will benefit significantly from tax measures introduced in this year’s budget. The Tonnage Tax regime will protect the long-term future of the industry and help secure jobs both ashore and at sea.

Padraic White, Chairman of the Advisory Group to the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) welcomed Minister McCreevy’s decision. He said that the Budget has sent a message of hope for all those who believe in Irelands maritime potential.

A year ago, the IMDO said that radical reform would be needed to halt the rapid decline of the Irish shipping industry. Glenn Murphy, Director of the IMDO, has also welcomed today’s announcement.

"The industry was on the brink of a complete collapse", he said. "Many of our larger owners, such as Irish Ferries and Arklow Shipping, would have been compelled to lower the Irish flag and relocate their core business structures to another country if the tonnage tax regime had not been announced this year."

A tonnage tax means that a company is taxed based on the tonnage of their fleet rather than notional corporate profits. The EU strongly advocates this regime and it has already been implemented successfully in Britain, Holland and Germany.

Mr. White, former Managing Director of the IDA added, "We can reasonably look forward to the day when Ireland will capture a share of the expanding international shipping industry and its merchant and technical support services and reverse the tragic decline of ships registered in and operating out of Ireland"

Mr. Murphy thanked the Department of Marine and Natural Resources and the members Advisory Group to his office for the fundamental role they played in securing this crucial measure.

Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Finance, he said that it reaffirmed the Governments commitment to developing the Maritime sector.

The Irish Maritime Development Office was incorporated as part of the Marine Institute in January 2000 and is the national agency for promotion and development of the shipping and shipping service sector.