The Maritime Sector is a major contributor to the economy of Trinidad and Tobago and plays a key role in supporting both the energy and non-energy sectors.
Trinidad and Tobago’s connectivity to regional and global markets, healthy export base, highly educated work force, vibrant energy sector, low fuel rates and political stability are some of the factors that make this country an attractive location for maritime services.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT) has identified the Maritime Sector as one of the sectors for further development. Although activities in the local Maritime Sector are diverse, the key areas of focus are:
- Port Operations;
- Ship Repair & Dry Docking;
- Marine Services (Off Shore Bulk Transshipment, Bunkering, Cold Stacking, Maritime Logistics and Open Ship Registry)
The two major cargo Ports, Port of Port of Spain and Port of Point Lisas, are well developed and have the facilities to handle liquid, dry bulk and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
SHIP REPAIR AND DRY DOCKING
The calm, sheltered, natural, deep water harbour of the Gulf of Paria, make it an ideal location for Ship Repair and Dry Docking.
The Gulf of Paria is home to a host of commercial marine services which include, Off Shore Bulk Transshipment, Bunkering and Cold Stacking.
Trinidad and Tobago is located 2,200 kilometres away from the Panama Canal.
The expansion of the Panama Canal due for completion in 2016 presents a high probability of increased traffic of new Panamax size vessels within the region.
Trinidad and Tobago has two major cargo Ports; Port of Point Lisas and Port of Port of Spain, whichare among the most highly developed in the Caribbean. The country also has liquid and dry bulk handling facilities as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) handling facilities.
The average combined throughput of Port of Point Lisas and Port of Port of Spain is just under 600,000 TEU’s
The average proportion of domestic to transhipment business in Trinidad is 60% to 40% respectively.
SUPPORT FOR THE SECTOR
Some major industry development incentives are as follows:
Import Duty Concessions
Locally registered firms engaged in ship building and ship repair are allowed duty free treatment on machinery, equipment and materials under the provisions of the Third Schedule of the Customs Act, Chapter 78:01 (as amended).
Companies are allowed expenses reasonably incurred in the training and retraining of employees up to 150% of such expenditure under Section 10E of the Corporation Tax Act, Chapter 75:02.
Value Added Tax Exemption
Repair services for ships involved in commercial maritime are exempt from VAT under the provisions of the Value Added Tax Act (Amendment to Schedule 2) Order, 2016.