The merger of BDO UK and Moore Stephens LLP in 2019 extended our reach and brought together new expertise and resources to create a market-leading team with a wealth of shipping knowledge and expertise.

Our shipping clients are at the heart of everything we do. They rely on us for the full range of accounting, audit and advisory services as well as trusting us with fully outsourced services. They have access to our dedicated shipping tax and shipping forensics teams as well as our Offshore maritime specialists.

Our services include;

  • ESG and Carbon Emission Matters
  • Freeport initiative consulting
  • Business structuring and strategic reviews
  • Employment planning
  • Governance, risk and assurance
  • Audit and reporting
  • Tonnage tax
  • Restructuring
  • International tax
  • Business services & outsourcing
  • Shipping litigation and arbitration
  • Corporate finance
  • Information Technology consulting

International Shipping advice

Shipping is by its nature an international industry. You benefit from the reach and resources of the BDO international network with local offices, knowledge and expertise in all of the main global shipping locations. We are able to deliver the services and advice you need, where you need them.

Our clients include financial institutions, charterers, operators, ports and port agents, brokers, managers, investors and a whole range of other organisations involved in shipping. The extent of our clients’ trust in us is demonstrated by a net book value of vessels acted for in London that exceeds US$10 billion.

As well as our regular reports on the latest developments in the shipping industry such as Bottom Line and Shipping confidence, you can download our brochure to find out more about our team, our services and our credentials

Shipping Tax

The efficient management of tax issues across multiple jurisdictions is a key part of commercial success in shipping. Clients draw on our unparalleled level of knowledge and experience of UK and international shipping and tonnage tax. Leveraging the BDO international network, we also advise on the shipping tax position of other important jurisdictions for shipping, such as Singapore, Greece and other European tonnage tax regimes.

Our broad expertise means that as well as addressing your specific tax issues and tax compliance, we can support you on:

Tonnage tax

The UK tonnage tax regime provides an alternative way of calculating the taxable profits of UK shipping businesses. Entry to the regime usually results in the entity obtaining a corporate tax saving. However, there are a number of potential pitfalls, such as ceasing to qualify for the regime part way through the 10 year election period and the EU flagging rules. Changes in bareboat chartering can also cause difficulties within tonnage tax regime.

Download our flyer to read more

Capital allowances on ships

Special rules apply to capital allowances on ships owned by UK businesses which do not elect to enter the tonnage tax regime.

Shipping transactions and M&A

We have extensive experience in advising on transactions in the shipping sector, including buying and selling ships, and shipping companies, and flotations.

Withholding taxes

A common issue for shipping companies is withholding tax on interest payments to overseas banks. It may be possible to obtain clearance to make interest payments gross.

US freight tax

Foreign ship owners and operators are liable to tax at 4% on 50% of their gross US transportation income relating to international voyages where the ship docks at a US port.

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Shipping Forensics

Our forensic maritime team draw on our broad expertise and knowledge to successfully resolve complex maritime disputes. The team have considerable experience in giving written and oral evidence in arbitrations and trials both in England and overseas. 

We really enjoy working closely with our clients’ legal teams and provide clear, jargon-free reports that explain and resolve complex accountancy or valuation issues.

Our forensic maritime advice covers a range of areas including:

  • Accounting systems and verification work
  • Time charter damages
  • Forward freight agreements
  • Liner operations
  • Shipping pools and agents
  • Oil spill clean-up operations
  • Salvage
  • Scuttlings
  • Completion accounts, warranty and misrepresentation claims
  • Valuations
  • Insolvency

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Offshore Maritime

In addition to our extensive work with the shipping industry, we have also developed a depth of knowledge and breadth of worldwide experience within the offshore maritime sector.

We provide offshore maritime clients with the full range of accountancy, audit, tax and other advisory services 

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For more detailed information about our services, the team and our existing clients, please complete the short ‘Contact us’ form below. Please also complete this form to talk to someone about receiving our email updates, attending an event or how we can help.

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