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Brussels, 18 December 2009

Commission authorises Polish tonnage tax scheme

The European Commission decided today to authorise the introduction in Poland of a flat-rate tax regime based on fleet tonnage. This so-called tonnage tax regime enables shipping operators not to pay corporation or personal tax but only a flat-rate tax, based on the tonnage of their fleet.

The Polish tonnage tax scheme allows for maritime activities to be eligible for tonnage tax, as well as dredging if at least 50% of the operational time of a dredger constitutes maritime transport, i.e. direct transport of freight and/or passengers. In addition, the Commission accepted the inclusion of towage activities in this scheme but only on condition that at least 50% of the operational time of a tugboat is dedicated to maritime transport activities.

The Commission also approved the inclusion in the scheme of management activities since they fulfil all the requirements of the new Guidelines on State aid to ship management companies 1 .

The Commission assessed all the ring-fencing measures put in place as sufficient in order to avoid any possible "spill-over" between activities eligible and non-eligible for tonnage tax as well as between companies from the same group which are tonnage tax beneficiaries and those which are not.

The Commission considered that the scheme is compatible with the internal market and can contribute to the Community's interests in the field of maritime policy.

The approved scheme may be applied as from 1 January 2011.

1 :

C 132, 11.6.2009, p. 6

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