Tax rebates

Priority: tax rebates preserve jobs

Dutch shipowners:

“Tax rebates should be extended to ships working in the offshore market in order to preserve Dutch seafaring jobs.”

Tax rebates are in need of maintenance. Currently, tax rebates can be applied to Dutch-flagged merchant and passenger ships. Ships active in the offshore sector, for example working on the construction of offshore wind farms and coastal protection, cannot benefit from this tax scheme yet. The KVNR believes that they should be, as is possible in other EU member states that have similar schemes. The government’s evaluation report, prepared by Deloitte and published in 2022, also makes this recommendation.

2012 - Vroon - VOS Sweet - 2
KVNR - Lodewijk Wisse - Belastingen, Juridische zaken en Nationale Politiek - web


Lodewijk Wisse
Tax and Legal | Kingdom Relations

+31 6 8397 8355
+31 10 2176 270

KVNR - Nathan Habers - Public Relations, Crisisco├Ârdinatie en Geopolitiek - web
Press inquiries


Nathan Habers
Head of Communications & Pulic Affairs

+31 10 2176 264


Tax rebates in the shipping sector enable Dutch shipowners to stay competitive in the global shipping industry by means of wage cost reduction. This scheme also strengthens the position of Dutch seafarers in the employment market. As such, this scheme contributes to the appeal of the Dutch flag and, therefore, to employment.

 The aim of the scheme is threefold:

  1. To strengthen the position of Dutch seafarers in the employment market;
  2. To strengthen the competitive position of Dutch shipowners;
  3. To strengthen the whole Dutch maritime cluster by supporting Dutch seafarers as their careers move onshore.

Without this tax rebate structure, Dutch seafarers will disappear from the fleet, with all its consequences for the entire Dutch maritime cluster. Many Dutch seafarers who continue their careers onshore do so in the Dutch maritime cluster because of their knowledge and expertise.

The challenge

The tax rebate structure is subject to European rules of state aid. It contributes to the competitive position of Dutch shipowners and seafarers with respect to their European and global competitors.

It is therefore paramount to keep the structure as financially attractive as possible. Optimising calculation methods and broadening its scope are some of the possible ways to achieve this.

State of play - 10 October 2023

In 2021, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance, had the maritime tax laws evaluated by Deloitte.

The evaluation report was sent to the Dutch House of Representatives by the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management in 2022. Deloitte’s conclusion is that tax rebates for the shipping industry and the tonnage regulations are conditional for the existence of a Dutch fleet and a Dutch maritime cluster. To compete with global competition, Deloitte also recommended broadening the scope of tax rebates to ships working in the offshore industry.

In February 2023, the House of Representatives also adopted another motion, tabled by Chris Stoffer (SGP). This instructed the government to bring ships that operate in the offshore sector fully under the scope of the tax rebates scheme for shipping and tonnage regulations.