An ambitious act

The act on mobilization of shipbuilding and complementary industries, commonly known as the Shipyard Act, entered into force on 1 January 2017. Its main aim is to ensure development of shipbuilding industry in Poland by means of establishing new legal, organizational and financial framework. According to the government’s estimate, creation of conditions for dynamic development of shipbuilding industry and complementary industries will result in approx. 3 thousand new jobs.

The aims of the act are to be achieved by means of a wide range of conveniences. As regards tax law – by means of zero VAT for production and import of parts and equipment for possibly the broadest catalogue of floating vessels, as well as by a new 1-percent lump-sum tax on the value of marketed production. When it comes to public law support in its broad sense – by allowing shipbuilding industry to take advantage of the European Union funds, including i.a. technological credit or technological bonus. The act implies also special economic zones which will cover areas for production of vessels, activities in the field of shipbuilding and complementary production. Thanks to the act, it is possible to extend the area of such zone upon the request of a relevant minister. In addition, the act provides for the development of research and development centers related to shipbuilding. In accordance with the opinion issued by the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Shipping, the introduction of the above mentioned instruments is to viably impact competitiveness of Polish shipbuilding and complementary industries under conditions of unequal competition on international markets, in particular countries of East Asia.

Slightly more than six months, which have passed since the act entered into force, do not allow us to assess its effectiveness. It will take some time before we can observe its possible effects. The provisions of the act – in particular conveniences with regard to VAT and CIT – are to improve the profitability of the Naval Shipyard in Gdynia which was bought by the Stocznia Wojenna company, which in turn is a part of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (Polish Armaments Group). They are also to render it easier to restore shipbuilding industry in Szczecin – in January this year the assets of the former shipyard in Szczecin, that is the existing Szczecin Industrial Park, were bought by said Polish Grupa Zbrojeniowa by means of the MARS Investment Fund. In June this year, on the other hand, Wulkan building slip located in the park, witnesses a ceremony during which a keel was laid down for the construction of a new ferry for Polish Baltic Shipping Co. which is to be built by Morska Stocznia Remontowa Gryfia S.A. This is to help to save this yard from bankruptcy. Whether the ambitious plans of the government will bring the expected results or not, we will see within the next few months.

The issue of the shipyard industry will be discussed during the maritime logistics panel at the Maritime Economy Forum Gdynia 2017.

Article developed in cooperation with  "Namiary na Morze i Handel" magazine.

phot. W. Jakubowski

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