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Malta: Tonnage tax regime, update

Malta: Tonnage tax regime, update

The European Commission in 2018—following a six-year period of review—approved the tonnage tax regime in Malta. The EC generally concluded that the measures under Malta’s tonnage tax regime were in line with EU state aid rules and that the tax relief provided by the regime was an appropriate method of addressing global shipping competition. Malta also made commitments about the tonnage tax regime in light of the EC’s determination.


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Under the Maltese tonnage tax regime, a shipping company is subject to tax on the basis of the ship’s net tonnage, rather than actual profits of the company. Tonnage taxation is applied to a shipping company’s:

  • Core revenues from shipping activities, such as cargo and passenger transport
  • Certain ancillary revenues that are closely connected to shipping activities (capped at 50% of a ship’s operating revenues)
  • Revenues from towage and dredging subject to certain conditions


Read a 2018 report providing an overview about the tonnage tax regime, prepared by the KPMG member firm in Malta, and a 2018 report [PDF 306 KB] about the EC’s action, also prepared by the KPMG member firm in Malta

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