Switzerland, a maritime nation

A 2017 study run by Oxford Economics outlines the importance of the maritime transportation activity in Switzerland. This study also sheds light on the positive impact that the introduction of a tonnage tax would have for the country’s competitiveness and attractiveness for businesses.

Switzerland currently represents:

The 11th commercial operated fleet in the world from a volume stand point (GT). Comparable to the fleet operated from the UK, or Norway (Switzerland ranks number 5 among the EU countries).

A fleet made of 812 ships in 2016.This is the equivalent of a volume of 42 million tons (GT).

Approximatively 65 Shipping and Shipping services companies, located in 12 cantons, most of them being based in Geneva, Zurich, Basel, Vaud, Ticino and Zug. [1]

The headquarters of major players in this activity, such as the second largest container-ship operator in the world, MSC, but also companies such as Massoel, Suisse-Atlantique, ABC Maritime or Swiss Maritime Services.


Merchant fleet by operator domicile, 2016

The Shipping activity contributes yearly to the Swiss GDP with CHF 2.4 billion (approx. 0.4% of total GDP). It represents approximatively 2000 direct jobs.

As part of promotion of Swiss maritime hub, Swiss authorities are studying the possibility of introducing a tonnage tax regime for shipping activities.

Learn more by reading our dedicated tax page.

[1] Clarkson List 2017

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The Swiss Trading & Shipping Association is a non-profit, non-political Swiss association representing companies active in commodity trading and shipping activities, trade finance and related services.

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