The 2018 Finance Law has introduced fiscal measures dedicated exclusively to the aquaculture sector. This is the exemption from VAT on major aquaculture inputs in addition to the extension of the measure on the customs duties reduction on the feed.
With a potential production estimated at more than 380,000 tons generated by only three completed aquaculture plans, aquaculture is a priority sector in the Halieutis strategy. It is even a growth driver for the fisheries sector.
In this respect, an institutional framework specific to this sector development was developed with the creation in 2011 of the National Agency for the Development of Aquaculture (ANDA). The latter proceeded with the aquaculture planning of the Moroccan coastline which ended with the launching of the calls for expression of interest (AMI) and the realization of the investment opportunities in aquaculture. However, what about the incentives adopted by Morocco, mainly fiscal, can they improve the attractiveness of the sector? Without a doubt. On the ANDA side, "the 2018 Finance Act provided incentives for aquaculture to improve the attractiveness of this sector, whereas in 2014, there was no tax measure dedicated to this activity. " Says Mme Majida Maârouf, ANDA general manager.
Indeed, the 2018 Finance Law has introduced fiscal measures dedicated exclusively to the aquaculture sector. This is the VAT exemption on key aquaculture inputs, including fry, spat and feed in addition to the measure extension on the tariffs reduction on feed at 2.5% ( against 25% previously) for a period of 6 years.
According to the ANDA, the purpose of these measures is threefold. First of all, it is a question of ensuring a certain VAT neutrality since the aquaculture operators paid the VAT on their inputs without being able to recover it since the sea products marketing is exonerated of the VAT without right of deduction and therefore project holders were rather taxed on their upstream investments and not on the profits made downstream. "This situation did not promote the investment in this sector. Today, the situation has changed, "reassures Mme Majida Maârouf.
These measures are also a way to align Moroccan aquaculture operators with their competitors who benefit in their countries from several tax advantages, partly similar to those recently adopted by our country. Of course, the value of these measures is also purely economic since they have a significant impact on aquaculture projects profitability and improve the national operators competitiveness in order ultimately to create a favorable climate for investment. In addition, investors are exempt from VAT and the right to import on capital goods and equipment for investments close to 100 MDH in addition to the exemption from corporation tax for 5 years for exporters. The activity also benefits from livestock insurance for fish farming. MAMDA has already developed coverage against property and casualty in aquaculture in the north. With regard to banking incentives, financial institutions provide support for the aquaculture sector and finance the sector needs with guarantees, including the land, installation, and equipment purchase and the development of aquaculture farms and food factories in addition to the establishment of a hatchery for seed production (fry, spat) and many others.