rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile

Greek Shipowners Say EU Tax Pressure Could Make Brexit Britain Attractive

© vivoo / Adobe Stock

Greek shipowners could relocate to Britain after it leaves the European Union if European regulators demand changes to favorable shipping taxes in Greece, a top industry official said on Friday.

The European Union has been pressing Greece to end generous tax allowances it grants shipowners, although the government has steered away from imposing heavy taxes on an industry that operates some of the world's biggest vessels.

"If the European Union threatens us ... obviously we will look at alternative options," Theodore Veniamis, president of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), said.

He suggested that the shipowners could consider relocating, possibly to Britain after its exit from the bloc in March 2019.

"Brexit, for us, is not a bad thing," he said, speaking at Greece's Posidonia shipping week in Athens. "If Brexit happens ... we, shipping, have a very good alternative option if something goes awry in the European Union."

The shipowners union has long said hiking taxes could push them to relocate abroad, outside the EU.

However, the leftist-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which has promised to take on shipowners over taxes in the past, has not pursued the policy.

Veniamis said the shipowners and the EU were "closer" to resolving differences on the tax dispute, adding that the shipowners intended to remain in Greece.

Greeks operate some of the world's biggest tankers and bulk carriers and Greek shipping represents almost half of the EU's total fleet capacity, the association says.

The Greek and British maritime industries have traditionally had strong ties, but several Greek shipowners moved operations out of Britain in recent years over changes that removed their favorable "non-domicile" tax status there.

Britain has tightened rules for those with a "non-domiciled" status, which allows some residents who register their permanent home as outside Britain to limit the tax paid on earnings abroad.

(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris Editing by Edmund Blair)

Jun 8, 2018


Government Update

Iran, Iraq to Dredge Arvand river

Image: Ports & Maritime Organization

Iran and Iraq have agreed to solve the issue of dredging of Arvand River (Shatt al-Arab) in

DP World Strengthen Brazil Ties

Brazil Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Henrique Fraga Araujo (right) with DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem (left) during a meeting in the capital of the country, Brasilia this week. Photo: DP World

Brazil Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Henrique Fraga Araujo met with the global port

Norway Builds Drone Fleet for coastal “Sulfur Patrols”

 Image: Norwegian Maritime Authority/Nordic Unmanned (drone)

Norway is growing its arsenal of military grade drones for missions that’ll take them into the

Government Update

U.S. Deploys Troops to Middle East, Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country's

CG Seeks Participants for Straits of Mackinac PAWSA Workshop

USCG Prevention Logo.JPG

The U.S. Coast Guard is soliciting for members of the public to participate in a Ports and

Bollinger Delivers 34th FRC to Coast Guard

USCGC William Hart (Photo: Bollinger Shipyards)

Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the USCGC William Hart, the 34th Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to

Maritime Apps