UAE’s maritime industry seeking VAT exemption

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The UAE maritime industry is seeking exemption from the value-added tax levied earlier this year in line with global practices as many countries have relieved the industry from VAT, industry executives said.

They believe that the UAE needs to look at the fees and other charges in order to become more competitive and also needs to update its maritime law.

“It is important to think about the regulations especially the VAT because many countries around the world have exempted the shipping industry from VAT and it is important. There is discussion with the government and we hope this will be taken positively. I guess we have to apply what applies anywhere else; and the principal is that the shipping industry is usually kept free from VAT,” said Khamis Juma Buamim, managing director and group CEO, Gulf Navigation Holding.

The UAE Cabinet last week announced exemption for the gold and precious metals trade from VAT to revive the industry.

“In general, there are too many fees and charges and too many time-wasting [requirements to obtain services]. Time means money and people seriously think about how much time they spend [on obtaining these services],” he added.