Press releases

Amendment of ship tonnage tax regulations


Legislative basis

The ship tonnage tax on Curaçao is a tax on the profits of ocean shipping companies. The profit is determined on the basis of the net tonnage of taxable ships. The signature feature of the tonnage tax is the fixed tax rate for profits from ocean shipping. The definition of a taxable ship according to the ship tonnage tax is “a ship intended for ocean shipping, which is included in the register of registered ships at the request of the resident taxpayer operating the ship.” Registered ships need not be limited to ships sailing under the flag of Curaçao. The tonnage tax likewise applies to special types of ships for transport or exploitation of natural ocean resources, as well as to ship management for the account of third parties.

Legislative amendments

In its drive to boost the economy and investments in ocean shipping companies on Curaçao the government has decided to amend certain components of the ship tonnage tax regime. The amendments became effective on January 1, 2015.

The main amendments are:

1.    The regulations now likewise encompass profits from ocean shipping of permanent establishments located within Curaçao;
2.    The definition of the operations of an ocean shipping company has been extended with supporting the construction of new ships or engaging in crew or technical management for a third party;
3.    An exception to the definition of ocean shipping company regards the use of ships for the exploitation within the exclusive economic zone of Curaçao;
4.    The Minister of Finance can determine the type of ship to which the ship tonnage tax applies. As a result, yachts can qualify for the ship tonnage tax as well;
5.    Profits realized with the operation of certain types of ships whose tonnage cannot be determined, will be determined through a fixed minimum amount included in the regulations;
6.    The tax due per ship is at least ANG 1,500 (used to be ANG 1,000) per year;
7.    The minimum tax on ship management for third parties has been raised to ANG 750 per year, up from of ANG 500;
8.    Income from certain short-term investments is considered to be part of the profit if the investments are held for the payment of obligations, current or otherwise, entered into for carrying on the ocean shipping company. This includes income from funds held in connection with carrying out periodic ship maintenance, or income from funds intended for the payment of obligations for the construction or purchase of a ship.

Taxation method

The tonnage tax on profits is calculated on the basis of a fixed amount per net tonne. If ship management is involved the profit is determined at one tenth of this.

Profit per tonne per year

Up to 10,000 tonnes



10,000 - 25,000 tonnes



As from 25,000 tonnes



The profit calculated is taxed at the regular 25% profit tax rate (2015).

 A ship with a net tonnage of 10,000 will have to declare a profit of ANG 20,000; at a 25% tax rate this means ANG 5,000 is due.The profit calculated is taxed at the regular 25% profit tax rate (2015).

Related regulations

The amendment of the National Ordinance on Ship Tonnage Tax 2007 means the related articles in the National Ordinance on Income Tax 1943 and the National Ordinance on Profit Tax 1940 are amended, too.

As this Tax Newsflash does not deal with all components of the regulations, no rights whatsoever can be derived from this.

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