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HMRC internal manual

Tonnage Tax Manual

The training requirement: Impact on tonnage tax

Accounting period to which training certificate relates

Corresponding accounting period

The Department for Transport administers the scheme on a fixed annual cycle running from 1 October to 30 September (per SI00/2129/REG2).  As companies’ accounting periods will usually not coincide with the year ended 30 September, the corresponding accounting period should be the one in which the initial training commitment year beginning 1 October commences.

First accounting period in tonnage tax

For the first accounting period (or more than one period, where there is a period of less than one year) the certificate should relate to the initial training commitment that starts on the 1 October next following the date of entry into the tonnage tax regime.

However, where:

  • a company has already entered into an initial training commitment, and

  • subsequently defers entry into tonnage tax,

the certificate will be acceptable if entry into tonnage tax is during its currency.

Backdated entry into tonnage tax

It is not normally acceptable for a company to make an election for immediate or backdated entry into tonnage tax if its approved training plan does not start until after the end of its current accounting period.  However, there may be circumstances with a short accounting period where it would be acceptable.

Deferred entry into tonnage tax

Where deferral or backdating of entry is sought for an election in a further window of oportunity(see TTM02210, TTM02220and TTM02230), the company or group will still have to seek approval for a training commitment related to that deferred accounting period before electing into tonnage tax.


Company Accounting Period(s) Initial Training Commitment Valid Entry Date into Tonnage Tax
1/1/2006 – 31/12/2006 1/10/2006 – 30/9/2007 Yes
1/1/2006 – 31/12/2006 1/10/2005 – 30/9/2006 Yes
1/1/2005 – 31/12/2005 1/10/2006 – 30/9/2007 No
1/1/2006 – 30/6/2006    
1/7/2006 – 30/6/2007 1/10/2006 – 30/9/2007 Yes

If a company elects into tonnage tax with effect from 1 January 2001, its first training period will run from 1 October 2001.  The election will be valid even though the training requirement need not start until nine months after the company has entered tonnage tax.


Queries to HMRC about whether a training certificate covers the right period should be sent to the Tonnage Tax Technical Adviser. DfT should not be directly approached.


SI00/2129/REG2 (‘year’ means 12 months beginning 1 October) TTM19002