“There have been reports in the press according to which a provision included in the draft of the so called “Decreto Trasporti” would constitute extensive tax aid compared to that currently available to Italian shipowners, to the extent that, according to unspecified observers, it would even jeopardise competition in the sector – drawing the attention of the European Commission. This approach, hypothesised by some political and trade union actors, is misleading and suggests that they have intervened on these issues related to shipbuilding and ports without having the necessary and correct information and, therefore, without any in-depth technical analysis and a good dose of rhetoric”.
Stefano Messina, Assarmatori President, has intervened with respect to the latest controversies relating to the tax benefits limitation, provided by the regime known as that of the International Register, to activities strictly ancillary to passenger and cargo cruise transport. Messina has emphasized that “this regime has been effective for 24 years and the innovation issue is instead resulting from a European Commission Decision (dated 11 June 2020). The beneficiaries of the maritime transport aid will be able to consider land-based activities within the eligible benefiting income – without overcoming the 50% limit, as requested by the Commission, in order to standardise the Italian system to that of other EU Member States. It should not be forgotten that the EU institution has required Italy to apply this measure by January 2021. Therefore, the risk would be – rather than a “reprimanda” to our country for adopting such legislation – that of the opening of an infringement procedure for not having done what was supposed to, after 15 months from the deadline expiry “.
“I would also like to accentuate that this regime is guaranteed only to companies based in Italy: it is illogical and instrumental to refer to other matters”.
“Lastly – Messina concludes – to raise this captious controversy when we are finally preparing an essential regime to be secured, which concurs to have a competitive system in Italy (the well-known International Registry), appears useless and harmful. Assarmatori, which has accustomed to dialogue and work with the Public Administration, the political and social parties, will continue to operate in the interest of the blue economy sector and above all of the thousands of jobs closely linked to it”.