Singaporean Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said the country is determined to help its maritime sector raise productivity, develop a core of local talent, and invest in research and development.
Speaking at the recent Singapore International Maritime Awards (IMA) ceremony, the minister said the administration will continue to ensure that the environment remains conducive for maritime companies to do business and tap growth opportunities in the Lion City.
One key example, he said, is the Maritime Sector Incentive (MSI) Scheme, which provides a comprehensive package of tax incentives for shipowners and operators and maritime service providers.
"To provide greater fiscal certainty, we recently announced that the maximum award tenure for international shipping enterprises under the MSI scheme would be extended from 30 years to 40 years. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will continue to refine the MSI Scheme whenever necessary, to meet changing business needs."
Mr Lui also pointed out that the MPA has completed a comprehensive review of its port dues structure and it's expected that more than 80 per cent of calling vessel will pay less than what they are paying at present. Overall, the revised port dues structure will bring about savings of S$11 million (US$8.9 million) annually to the shipping community.
Furthermore, the Maritime Singapore Green Initiative, introduced in 2011 to encourage cleaner and greener shipping and the industry, will be enhanced. The MPA has committed S$100 million over five years for the three programmes under this Initiative, namely, the Green Ship Programme, Green Port Programme and Green Technology Programme.
The Green Ship Programme will be expanded to provide incentives to Singapore-registered ships that adopt approved sulphur oxide (Sox) scrubber technology that goes beyond the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) emission requirements. Singapore-registered ships, which adopt both approved SOx scrubber technology and energy efficient ship designs that exceed the IMO's energy efficiency requirements, will enjoy even more incentives for their Initial Registration Fee and Annual Tonnage Tax.
"As for the Green Port Programme, MPA will increase the port dues rebate from 15 per cent to 25 per cent for ocean-going vessels that use clean fuels or type-approved abatement technology throughout their port stay. MPA will also grant a 15 per cent port dues rebate to ocean-going vessels that only use clean fuels or type-approved abatement technology at berth," Mr Lui said.
MPA will also increase the grant limit under the Green Technology Programme from SGD2 million to S$3 million for qualifying projects that can achieve at least a 10 per cent reduction in emission levels, the Shipping Gazette informs.