Tax advantages for shipping companies

In pursuance of the EU 1997 guidelines on State aid to maritime transport, the Belgian government has adopted important corporate tax relief measures.

Extracts of the relevant 2002 and 2004 acts can be downloaded from this site (see Downloads > Taxes > Extract from Belgian 2002 and 2004 Program Acts...).
Those measures have added to the attractiveness of the Belgian registry and have persuaded both Belgian and foreign shipowners and operators to have their ships (re)registered in Belgium.
The following tax advantages apply to seagoing ships that meet the legal conditions, if the profits resulting from their operation are not determined on the basis of tonnage:
  • depreciation percentages: 20 % for first year, 15% for the second year, 15% for the third year, 10 % for the fourth year, 10% for the fifth year, 10% for the sixth year, 10% for the seventh year and 10% for the eight year;
  • investment allowance: 30 % of purchase price of vessel;
  • exoneration of excess values realized in the event of sale if reinvested in seagoing ships within a period of 5 years.