Marina: Extend granting of incentives to shipowners

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The Maritime Industry Authority, (Marina) said on Thursday that it is asking Congress to extend the granting of domestic incentives to local shipowners that expires this year.

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The incentives are granted to ensure the continued viability of the domestic shipping industry and to encourage investments in it.

Marina said it has sent its proposal and is awaiting the action of legislators.

The incentives are listed down in the Revised Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act 9295, Rule II.

Among these perks are exemption from the value-added tax (VAT) on importation and local purchase of passenger and/or cargo ships 150 gross tons and above including the engine and spare parts of the particular ship(s) imported or locally purchased; provided that the ship to be imported shall install life-saving equipment, fire fighting systems, safety and rescue equipment, communication and navigational safety equipment, steel plates, and other metal plates including marine-grade aluminum plates, used for transport operations.

However, in case of local purchase, if the exemption from the payment of VAT is availed of by the domestic shipowner/operator, the ship builder shall no longer be entitled to it.

Importation of articles to be used by the registered shipowner/operator shall also be VAT-free if they are not manufactured domestically in sufficient quantity, of comparable quality and at reasonable prices, as certified by the Marina; they are directly imported by a Marina-registered domestic shipowner/operator; they are reasonably needed and will be used exclusively by the registered domestic shipowner/operator in its transport operations; the approval of Marina was obtained prior to their importation; the applicant/importer shall comply with relevant rules and regulations of the Bureau of Customs; and exemption from VAT on the importation of said articles shall be granted to all Marina registered domestic shipowners/operators within a period of 10 years from the effectivity of the Act.

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