Some more details further to my post yesterday re Norway’s scheme for tax refunds for ship owners. The Norwegian state aid scheme allows ship / boat owners to obtain income tax and social security contribution refunds where payments have been made for crews on Norwegian registered ships / boats. The value of this scheme is that since foreign labour is relatively cheap then the higher wages of Norwegian crews are effectively discounted.
This scheme is applicable to certain types of ships / boats which are registered in the Norwegian Ordinary Ship Register and / or the Norwegian international Ship Register.
Wisely, the European Free Trade Association Surveillance (EFTA Surv.) noted that this aid was justified as Norway was facing “aggressive” competition from ship / boats registered in other countries which “do not take much care to observe social and safety rules in force at international level.”
On balance, this scheme has been well received in London and as a Tax Barrister I am, of course, always pleased to see any help to level playing-fields for business.
Tax Barrister, Accountant