Polish government is to take care of the investment project of external ports

Improvements in the preparation and implementation of the construction of external ports are provided for in a draft law to be adopted by the government on Tuesday. Ministers will also discuss, among other things, the exemption from income tax for seafarers working on Polish seagoing ships.

Improvements in the preparation and implementation of the construction of external ports are provided for in the draft Act on investments in the construction of external ports prepared by the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Waterway Transport.

The project was prepared in order to facilitate the preparation and implementation of the construction of external ports

within the framework of the development of seaports of fundamental importance for the national economy, i.e. the ports of Gdańsk, Gdynia and the Szczecin-Świnoujście port complex.

The proposed regulations define the principles of preparation, implementation and financing of the external port construction project. The solutions are to enable acceleration of the investment process of building these ports.

The authors of the regulations expect better use of the potential of ports, their adaptation to increasingly demanding market conditions, as well as a permanent strengthening of their position in the Baltic Sea.

The government also plans to discuss a draft law amending the Personal Income Tax Act and the Maritime Labour Act. The proposed provisions concern, among others, the exemption from income tax for seafarers working on Polish seagoing ships.

As it was written in the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), its aim is to implement the position of the European Commission presented in the course of the procedure concerning the notification of an aid measure for shipowners.

The aid consists in the exemption from income tax of seafarers obtained from work on Polish seagoing ships performed for a total of 183 days in a fiscal year in international shipping on ships used for the transport of cargo or passengers.

In the opinion of the European Commission, this provision should be extended to seagoing vessels belonging to EU and EEA Member States (European Economic Area – PAP) in order to prevent discrimination against them. Such solutions are also applied in other Member States. As a result, seafarers working on ships flying the Polish flag, but also under the flags of EU and EEA states, will be able to obtain income tax exemptions, in accordance with the position of the European Commission.

The proposed amendment will make it possible to issue a positive decision on the compatibility of state aid with the internal market by the European Commission and Poland’s accession to the group of the majority of Member States applying the “Community guidelines on state aid to maritime transport”. – According to the authors of the new regulations.

The next item will be the draft act amending the Act on ports and marinas and some other acts. The document implements EU law.

The draft Act aims to adapt legal acts regulating the organisation and functioning of ports

to the provisions of the Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council of 15 February 2017 establishing a framework for the provision of port services and common rules on financial transparency of ports, which entered into force on 24 March 2019. – The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Inland Waterway Transport, which is the author of the proposed regulations, announced the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Inland Waterway Transport.

As stated by the Ministry, the additional objective of the project is to strengthen the position of port and marina operators and to improve the functioning of ports.

author: Kacper Reszczyński
translation: Krystian Wyrzykowski

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