Danish International Ship Register Under Threat

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  • A Danish expert group has proposed to abolish the Danish International Ship Register (DIS) scheme, under which seafarers do not pay income tax.
  • The shipowner’s organisation warned that abolition of the scheme would have major negative consequences for the country’s shipping sector.

A Danish expert group has proposed to abolish the Danish International Ship Register (DIS) scheme, under which seafarers do not pay income tax — a move the country’s shipowners’ organisation Danish Shipping, has come out strongly against, reports Splash247.

The so-called Frigast committee has included the DIS scheme in its recommendations for changes in Denmark’s more than 200 current business support schemes, which are aimed at increasing structural employment by 4,000 full-time workers and releasing about DKK2bn annually.

Scrapping the DIS scheme would result in significantly fewer Danish seafarers

In its recommendation, the group led by businessman Christian Frigast concluded that it should be expected that scrapping the DIS scheme would result in significantly fewer Danish seafarers and fewer ships flying the Danish flag, but Danish Shipping noted that it has not further assessed derived effects such as employment ashore and others.

The EU-approved DIS scheme has existed since 1988, and historically, there has been broad political support for Danish shipping and a majority for the framework conditions that make it possible for Danish shipping companies to compete on the market. Denmark today has the world’s seventh-largest maritime industry and more than 100,000 people are employed in the maritime cluster, according to Danish Shipping.

The shipowner’s organisation warned that abolition of the scheme would have major negative consequences for the country’s shipping sector, describing the proposal as sad and worrying and called on the government not to implement it. It pointed out several ramifications, including the Danish flag not being competitive compared to other countries, such as Norway, Germany and Singapore as well as fewer Danish seafarers and other skilled employees in the sector.

It will be a disaster for Danish shipping to abolish the DIS scheme,” stressed Anne Steffensen, CEO of Danish Shipping. “Abolition of the DIS scheme will lead to significant and massive flagging of Danish-flagged ships to neighboring countries and other maritime nations around the world. Immediately, positions ashore must follow and in time we will also lose the Danish seafarers and important maritime skills. It is a highly unsafe experiment that one should stay far away from. I cannot warn against that strongly enough,” she said.

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Source: Splash247

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