Singapore: Tax-Efficient Sectors
Ship Management and Maritime Operations
The Singapore Shipping Register ranks among the world’s top 10. In January 2018, there were 4,583 vessels registered, totalling 90.0 million gross tons.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has in place a range of incentives:
- Approved International Shipping Enterprise scheme – international shipping companies with established worldwide networks who are committed to expanding their shipping operations in Singapore can benefit from tax exemption on qualifying shipping income for 10 years.
- Approved Shipping Logistics scheme – ship agencies, ship managers, international logistics operators and freight forwarders of shipping groups that provide freight and logistics services from Singapore may be eligible for a concessionary tax rate of 10% on their incremental income. The concession is for five years and can be renewed for a further five years, subject to conditions.
- Maritime Finance Incentive (MFI) scheme – ship or container leasing companies, funds, business trusts or partnerships committed to expanding shipping and container financing operations in Singapore can apply for MFI status before 31 March 2016). Such companies stand to benefit from tax concessions for up to five years on their qualifying leasing income. The manager of the asset-owning entity will be awarded a concessionary tax rate of not less than 10% on its qualifying management income.
- Maritime Cluster Fund – Available to both companies and individuals in the maritime sector, the fund is aimed at facilitating the growth of the maritime cluster in Singapore, and is available for the development of manpower, local training infrastructure and capabilities within the maritime industry.
- The Port of Singapore is the world’s busiest in terms of total shipping tonnage, transhipment and containers, handling some 140,000 vessels each year. The port also operates South-East Asia’s most technically advanced and efficient shipbuilding and ship-repair facilities.