We supported a team of journalists from the European Investigative Collaborations network to produce Black Trail, a brilliant and comprehensive exposé of the shipping industry’s response to the climate crisis, regulations and taxation.

Led by The Black Sea Reporters and Expresso, Reporters United (Greece), RTS (Switzerland) and VG (Norway), and co-produced by SIC TV (Portugal) we provided research on the generous tax treatment enjoyed by global shipping.

The production travelled to Portugal, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, UK, France, and the Arctic to interview dozens of climate activists, experts, politicians, lobby groups, shipowners and health professionals.

The shipping’s special tax status means that bunker fuel is tax exempt, seafarers pay no income tax (though have very few worker protections), and corporate taxes are very low relative to profits. 

Watch the Blacktrail documentary here.
Read the Blacktrail longform story here.

Posted by Margot Gibbs

Margot Gibbs was until December 2020 an investigative journalist at Finance Uncovered specialising in UK facilitation of corruption, natural resources and the environment. She has covered corruption in the Nigerian oil industry for Africa Confidential, revealed secret contracts underpinning a private tax haven in the Marshall Islands, and produced critically-acclaimed radio for BBC Radio 4. Working with NGOs, she has investigated corruption in the arms industry and the London property market, financing of environmentally destructive palm oil projects in Indonesia, and conflicts of interest in the UK accounting regulator. She is an expert in obtaining documents via freedom of information laws and has uncovered stories which have provoked policy changes in the UK and internationally.