Rising out of a century of success in oil and gas, the maritime industry in Trinidad and Tobago provides a broad range of specialized services. Our naturally track record, developed maritime infrastructure and support mechanisms make us a very special place for commercial maritime operations and leisure marine activities.
Transport of Containerized Cargo
T&T has legal jurisdiction over 2,940 km2 of the waters of the Gulf of Paria. The Gulf offers a well-sheltered body of water with 156 km of coastline and serves as an ideal location for port and harbour facilities. The average combined throughput of the country’s two major cargo ports - Port of Point Lisas and Port of Port of Spain - is just under 600,000 TEU’s
Chaguaramas Maritime Cluster
Most of T&T’s maritime activities take place in Chaguaramas, in the north-western peninsula of Trinidad. The Chaguaramas Bay is an exceptionally sheltered natural harbour and one of the best yacht storage and repair centres in the Caribbean. The area is well developed with 8 marinas/boatyards and approximately 140 companies providing yacht related support services, all within walking distance.
About 180 companies throughout Trinidad cater to the yachting industry. 8 boatyards/marinas provide approx. 470 in-water berths, as well as accommodation for an estimated 1000 yachts on land. The sub-industry is export oriented with over 70% to 80% of its sales going to transient yachts.
Ship Repair Services
There are several ship repair facilities located in Trinidad including one dry dock facility with a lifting capacity of 23,000 metric tonnes (MT) and an overall length of 230 meters.
T&T’s calm waters are ideal for companies wishing to transship raw materials out of South American countries such as Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana to European and Asian markets.
T&T’s natural and safe harbour as well as its traditional adversity to hurricanes makes it a preferred location for the storing of ships. For example oil and gas drilling services companies which may be suffering a slowdown due to depressed oil prices.
Why invest in Maritime?
T&T lies just 11 km off the coast of South America and 2,200 km away from the Panama Canal. This location places the twin island nation outside of the Atlantic hurricane belt and approximately 19 km away from the international shipping lanes. T&T’s location south of the hurricane belt also ensures the protection necessary to establish ports and harbours.
Existing Maritime Infrastructure
T&T’s natural harbour provides an ideal solution for exporters who face huge difficulties shipping from the South American mainland due to fluctuating river drafts and insufficient port infrastructures. T&T has well developed maritime clusters, with 8 marinas and a wide range of essential goods and services that are readily available and accessible.
The maritime industry can engage the services of international standard engineers, welders, seamen, pilotage and stevedoring personnel, amongst others, from an English-speaking local workforce.
Tertiary institutions offer well established courses to the Maritime sector including:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical, Civil, Electrical & Chemical Engineering; Nautical Science
- Master’s Degree in Operational Maritime Management, Port and Maritime Management
- Diploma in Maritime Operations
- Additionally, 16 local institutions produce graduate welders and 2 local schools train new commercial divers.
Import Duty Concessions
Locally registered firms engaged in ship building and ship repair are allowed duty free treatment on machinery, equipment and materials under the provisions of the Third Schedule of the Customs Act, Chapter 78:01 (as amended).
Value Added Tax Exemption
Repair services for ships involved in commercial maritime are exempt from VAT under the provisions of the Value Added Tax Act (Amendment to Schedule 2) Order, 2016.
Under the Corporate Tax Act any company which promotes or sponsors yachting will be allowed an allowance equal to 150% of the actual expenditure incurred in respect of such promotion or sponsorship, up to a maximum of $450,000.
With the expansion of the Panama Canal and the construction of the Nicaraguan Canal, opportunities exist within T&T to build on the past successes of the industry and develop viable and competitive maritime clusters in: