New Incentives for Shipping Industry

Article excerpt

A new shipping policy is in the offing: Under this policy shipping may be declared an industry. A new set of incentives is being offered to the shipping industry. These incentives include setting up of a Maritime Commercial Bank and offering a 5-year tax holiday for acquisition of vessels under Pakistani flag. Some crucial clauses are as follows:

Ownership of Pakistani Flag Vessels: The criteria for ownership of Pakistani flag vessel is that of a genuine link between the ship and its owners. A vessel eligible for registration under Pakistani flag shall fulfil one of the following conditions of ownership:

a) Wholly owned by a Pakistani national, partnership firm or body corporate having cent per cent interest of Pakistani nationals.

b) Jointly owned by Pakistani national or partnership firm with foreign nationals. In this case foreign interest in the ownership shall not be more than 49% and operation and management may remain with majority share holders. The principal place of business of partnership shall be in Pakistan.

c) Wholly owned by a body corporate registered in Pakistan that may have foreign share not exceeding 74%. The operation and management of the ship shall be within Pakistan with its principal place of business in the country.

Registration of Ships

* Any entrepreneur intending to register and ply his vessels under Pakistani flag shall be issued with Ship Owning Licence by the Government of Pakistan.

* The ships procured for registration under Pakistani flag shall not be treated as imported into the country whether the vessels trade to and from Pakistani ports or they are engaged in cross trade outside the country. The ship shall be issued Permanent Registry on application with Registrar of Ships in Pakistan.... Registration shall also be allowed while the vessel is in a foreign port.

* Temporary registration of vessels under Pakistani flag shall also be issued to bare boat chartered vessels by Pakistani nationals or firms Acquisition/Deletion of Ships: Pakistani shipowners shall be free to acquire and dispose of their ships as and when they deem fit. There shall be no control on size, type or age of the vessel and/or source of acquisition nor on the mode of disposal of the vessel as long as the vessels are maintained in seaworthy condition and in accordance with ISM code.

* The ship offered for registration under Pakistani flag may be acquired on out-right ownership or may be procured on lease terms.

* Sale and transfer of the Pakistani registered ships to foreign interest shall be allowed at the discretion of owners. On said transfer of vessel, the ship/vessel shall be deleted from Pakistani Registry and a certificate of deletion shall be issued. Manning of Pakistani Registered Vessel:

* All Pakistani flag vessels shall be manned by Pakistani master and crew as per minimum safe manning requirements, except in case of emergency when owners may employ foreign nationals for short duration. …