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Set Up a Shipping Company in Italy

Set Up a Shipping Company in Italy

Italy is a renowned maritime center with a developed legislation for vessel registration. The legislation also provides many advantages for foreign investors turning towards Italy for setting up a shipping company. Businessmen must first register a company according to the Italian Commercial Code and then following the Code of Navigation, the legal entity will become a shipping companyThis type of companies in Italy are required to own or to operate one or more boats.

Italian legislation on international vessel registration

In order to facilitate foreign shipping companies to register vessels in Italy, a new international registry of vessel legislation was enacted. The new law allows EU and Italian companies owning vessels to submit a shipowner declaration in order to conduct business activities within the country.

The Maritime Code establishes foreign shipping companies operating in the country are required to hire an EU or Italian crew. However, companies registered in other countries under a bareboat charter are required to have six Italian employees only. The same regulation applies to Italian companies purchasing boats registered abroad. With respect to the employees not being part of the crew, companies are required to give priority to EU and Italian citizens and provide them with specific training and employment contracts.

Register a shipping company in Italy

While the company registration procedure is the same as for any other type of company, when submitting the required documentation with the Italian Companies Register, the applicant must select one of the following NACE codes for the economic activity to be undertaken:

  • – Section I, subsection 61 for water transport,
  • – 61.1 for sea and coastal water transport,
  • – 61.10 for sea and water transport,
  • – 61.2 for inland water transport,
  • – 61.20 for inland water transport,
  • – 63.22 for other supporting water transport activities.

The fiscal regime for Italian shipping companies

The registration of a shipping company in Italy provides many advantages, among which a beneficial fiscal regime. The employment withholding taxes for Italian shipping companies are set out at 20%. Managers of vessels also benefit from certain tax credits, provided that the boat is registered in Italy.

For complete information about the advantages of opening a shipping company, you may contact our lawyers in Italy.