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HMRC internal manual

Tonnage Tax Manual

The training requirement Condition for entering tonnage tax: Outline

Condition of entering tonnage tax

It is a condition of entering tonnage tax or making a renewal election (see TTM04210) that the company or group meets minimum training obligations in respect of the training of seafarers.

The training requirement is an important feature of the tonnage tax regime.  It is key in helping deliver one of the objectives of tonnage tax which is to increase the pool of UK trained seafarers.

All tonnage tax companies must make a commitment to meet a minimum training obligation.


That obligation is set out in FA00/SCH22/PARA23 to PARA36 and in The Tonnage Tax (Training Requirement) Regulations 2000 (SI 2129/2000)  made by the Department for Transport (DfT)

Minimum training obligation

Under the Regulations made by DfT in August 2000, the minimum training obligation is currently that

  • A company (or group) should train one officer trainee for each 15 officer posts in existence on the vessels that it operates.
  • If the company/group is unable to deliver this training it may instead make a cash contribution to the Maritime Training Trust in respect of each training place which it is unable to offer.

Companies must also consider what additional training and employment opportunities they can offer to ratings.


For groups, even though two or more companies may operate the same ship (through different level charters), the crew of any group ship is only counted once for the purpose of assessing the group’s minimum training obligation.

Administration of training requirement

The training requirement is administered and monitored by DfT. Officials there will issue certificates of approval of company/group training plans (see TTM04110), monitor compliance with those plans (see TTM04130) and, if necessary, issue certificates of non-compliance with the training obligation (see TTM04230).


FA00/SCH22/PARA1(3)(b) (requirement for tonnage tax election) TTM17001
FA00/SCH22/PARA23 onwards (the training requirement) TTM17156
SI00/2129 (The Tonnage Tax (Training Requirement) Regulations) TTM19000