Since the VAT has been relived in many countries; the UAE maritime industry is also in pursuit for exemption of VAT which was enlisted this year in synchronization with the global practices.
The industry also wants the maritime laws to be updated and in order to be competitive the UAE should have a serious look at the fees and other charges which are levied.
The MD & Group CEO of Gulf Navigation Holding, Mr.Khamis Juma Buamin stated his displeasure by saying” Many countries have exempted the VAT for the shipping industry, hence it is requested that the UAE council looks into the regulations. We are in hopes that this discussion is taken positively and we use the same rules according to other countries and the shipping industry becomes VAT free”
He also added that “they are already many fees and other charges and a lot of time is wasted to obtain services. People seriously think before spending money to obtain these services as they calculate time with money”
Mr.Khasim also indicated that the UAE will also need a new universal driven law for the maritime industry. “As lot of other countries are changing there strategies for investment and laws, the UAE should also upgrade the law to be in line with the competition”
Mr. Khasim emphasized that UAE has the ability to attract a lot of major ship owners as there players look mainly back to the host country where they have an ease for doing business along with easy going policies, abreast maritime technology and eagerness of information sharing. Mr. Khasim was also sharing about the UAE maritime leaders round table discussion which he attended this Sunday in Dubai to discuss the main hurdles the existing investors are facing.
“Any hub of trading needs to have a bare minimum cost of doing business” said the head of trade & marketing of Maersk Line-UAE, Qatar & Oman, Kapil Mehta
Mr. Mehta also indicated that maritime industry in UAE need to realign itself soon as the routes of UAE started first with trading business and the routes moved later into energy and real estate business. And due to the expansion, the conventional trading business has taken a side stand which has given a leakage of ways to other countries to entrust themselves as major players.
Mr. Mehta added that “A lot of cost are effecting the trading business in a negative manner, the trading cost which has VAT as one the main component, the warehouse cost, the visa fee and fee for getting labour and the land cost. It would benefit UAE in a large way if they stop diversifying themselves and focus on the how to emerge bigger in their regional trading hub”
Hessa Al Malek, CEO of Maritime Transport at FTA reassured all by saying ”UAE wishes to maintain the leading position and attract more maritime business, so we will prioritise all the challenges faced by the main maritime players and have a joint effort to achieve UAE as the leader in the maritime sector”. She added UAE is currently in the sixth position on the list of the future leading maritime capitals as compared to 2015 where they were at the seventh place.