Financial matters

A competitive German merchant fleet serves a vital interest of Germany with its export orientated economy. Financial support for the German flag is an important element in the „maritime alliance“, formed by the federal government, the German coastal states and representatives of employers and employees.

The federal government supports ocean shipping under the German flag by:

  • Subsidies for ancillary labour costs for ships under the German flag,
  • Subsidies for training slots, and
  • 100% wage tax deduction for employers.

Subsidies for ancillary labour costs and for training slots add up to a total amount of about 58 million € per year. The "Stiftung Schifffahrtsstandort Deutschland" (German shipping foundation) pays subsidies of about 20 million € in total for training and qualification of seafarers.

The wage tax deduction for employers means a further advantage for shipowners of about 75 million € per year. Furthermore, German shipowners benefit from the tonnage tax, a very favourable method for determining taxable income from seagoing ships in international traffic.

Fees for ship’s certificates are also comparatively low under the German flag.