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Practical Handbook for Companies 2021

Application of the scheme

Regulation: Articles 117 LIS and 53 RIS

This special regime will apply in the following way:

  1. Its application is subject to the authorisation of the Ministry of Finance (now the Ministry of Finance and the Civil Service) upon application by the taxpayer.

    This application must refer to all the vessels operated, or for which technical and crew management is carried out, by the entities of the same tax group, and must be accompanied by the documents listed in Article 53 of the LIS.

  2. The application must specify the tax period from which it is to take effect and must be submitted before the beginning of the tax period.

  3. The instruction and resolution of this procedure corresponds to the Directorate General for Taxes, which may request from the taxpayer any data, reports, background information and supporting documents that may be necessary.

    In granting the scheme, the Ministry of Finance (now the Ministry of Finance and the Civil Service) will take into account the existence of an effective contribution to the objectives of Community maritime transport policy, in particular as regards the technological level of vessels ensuring the safety of navigation and the prevention of pollution of the environment and the maintenance of Community employment both on board and in auxiliary tasks in maritime transport.To this end, the Directorate General for Taxation may seek prior report of the competent bodies.

  4. Once the procedure has been instructed and before the proposed resolution is drawn up, will be made known to the taxpayer, , who has 15 days to make allegations and to present the documents and supporting documents that he/she considers appropriate.

  5. The decision which terminates the procedure must be with reasons and may authorise the tonnage-based regime for shipping entities or refuse to grant the tonnage-based regime.This resolution must be resolved within 3 months, after which time it may be understood to have been rejected.

  6. The authorisation will be granted for a period of 10 years from the date established in the authorisation, and the taxpayer may request its extension for additional periods of another 10 years.

  7. If, after the granting of an authorisation, the taxpayer acquires, leases, charters or manages, in its entirety, other vessels that meet the requirements of the scheme, it must submit, under the terms set out in the previous paragraphs, a new application referring to these vessels.The additional authorisation will be granted by the temporary period of validity remainder to the initial approval of the regime.


The application of the tax regime for shipping entities based on tonnage will be incompatible, for the same ship, with the application of the tax incentives for the renewal of the merchant fleet regulated in the fourth additional provision of the LIS.