Trinidad and Tobago benefits from its strategic geographic location, away from the hurricane belt and between key trade routes connecting the North and South American continents. While the maritime sector developed to service the unique needs of the domestic energy sector Trinidad and Tobago has also evolved into a regional transhipment sub-hub for the Caribbean servicing mainly the smaller islands in the Caribbean chain and closest South American neighbours.
The maritime sector is a major contributor to the economy and plays a key role in supporting our energy sector and manufacturing sector through the transportation of commodities and manufactured products to various markets around the globe.
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 the ship building and ship repair are allowed duty free treatment on their machinery, equipment and materials for use in the boat and ship building and repairs industry based upon the provisions of the Third Schedule of the Customs Act, Chapter 78:01 (as amended).
Value Added Tax Exemption
Exemption on Value Added Tax is a benefit offered to locally registered firms engaged in the repair of ships, yachts and pleasure crafts based upon the provisions of the Second Schedule of the Value Added Tax Act, Chapter 75:06 (as amended).
In computing the chargeable profits of a company for purposes of corporation tax, there are certain deductions that are allowed under the corporation Tax Act, Chapter 75:02 (as amended), Income Tax Act, Chapter 75:01 (as amended), and Income Tax (In Aid of Industry) Act, Chapter 85:04 (as amended). These deductions include allowances for promotional expenses, wear and tear, and capital expenditure and can be considered as part of the investment incentive regime of Trinidad and Tobago.
Purchase of Land & Shareholding in a Company
The Foreign Investment Act allows a foreign investor to purchase land not exceeding one acre forresidential purposes and five acres for commercial purposes. In order to purchase land in excess of these amounts, a foreign investor must apply for a licence from the Minister of Finance. In addition, a foreign investor is allowed to purchase up to 30 percent of the cumulative shareholding in a public company. In order to purchase ore than 30%, the foreign investor must apply for a licence.
Brochure on Maritime Sector