Switzerland: Proposal for tonnage tax regime; consultation ends 31 May 2021

Switzerland: Proposal for tonnage tax regime

Switzerland is considering a tonnage tax regime, and the consultation process ends 31 May 2021.


The tonnage tax would be intended to strengthen the Swiss shipping sector, and would introduce alternative or supplementary taxation regimes for the international shipping industry in a manner similar to regimes in other countries including Germany, France, Cyprus, and the United Kingdom.

As being considered, the tonnage tax regime would be an alternative and optional method that would replace income tax at the communal, cantonal, and direct federal levels. If the tonnage tax regime were to be implemented, a company’s net profit would no longer be relevant. Instead, its taxable basis would be determined based on its net tonnage (freight volume). This would simplify taxation for shipping companies and result in less volatile outcomes for this sector.

Switzerland is also considering implementing environmental incentives (lower or higher tax rates based on ecological criteria) to encourage investments in environment-friendlier fleets.

Read a March 2021 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Switzerland

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