TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan will halve the tax on international cargo ships from North America and Europe regularly entering ports in three major metropolitan areas to raise their cost competitiveness against other Asian hub ports, government sources said Thursday.
The cut in so-called tonnage dues is part of the government’s planned tax reform measures for fiscal 2020 starting next April, the sources said. It will be the first time the tax rates have changed since 1964.
The tax reduction will apply to container ships coming to seven major ports through main global liner routes from North America and Europe, they said.
Under the current rule of tonnage dues charged according to ships’ net tonnage, or cargo space volume, foreign vessels pay 108 yen ($1) per ton annually regardless of the number of their port calls, or 36 yen per ton at each arrival. Only the annual rate will be cut, the sources said.
The government’s tax reform package is expected to be formulated in mid-December.