Shipping Tax Break for Foreign Ships Extended

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SHANGHAI, May 12 –  Shanghai’s local government has announced that it would extend the  tax break for foreign-registered ships until June 30, 2011 in line with its goal of making the city a major international financial center and shipping hub by 2020.

The Yangshan Port will also allow shipping companies registered there to be exempt from business tax meted on their international shipping revenue. The exemption also includes tax from revenues of logistics companies and warehouse operators.

There are plans of building trial zones in Yangshan Port to help the international shipping service sector and more favorable policies will be be granted to registered companies in the zones.

The recent merging of the Nanhui District with the Pudong New Area will allow companies to have more access to land. As part of making the port conducive to foreign businesses, registered companies will be allowed to open offshore bank accounts in addition to taking out the business tax for transport companies located in the port.

“We’ll carry out research together with the city government concerning tax exemption and the setting up of a modern transportation system,” an official with the Committee of Shanghai Urban Construction & Communications told Shanghai Daily.

Further details of the tax exemption will be released later this year.

“The development of Shanghai port can no longer be merely dependent on increasing throughput and the trial zone will provide a platform for port operators as well as shipping companies to develop new business,” added Chen Xuyuan, president of Shanghai International Port Co Ltd.

Last year, the operator of the Shanghai port managed a total of 28 million TEUs, an increase of 7.1 percent from the previous year. The throughput of dry bulk goods totaled 580 million tons last year. Beijing has instructed Shanghai to develop its transport system further by constructing more highways, railways and waterways.