Brussels, 28 October 2022
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, the prolongation and modification of a German scheme to encourage to freight transport to shift from road to inland waterways and rail. The measure originally approved by the Commission in October 2002 (N 406/2002) and prolonged in six occasions, most recently in April 2022 (SA.101664), was set to expire in September 2022. The purpose of the scheme is to promote the modal shift of freight transport from road to inland waterways and rail, which are a greener mode of transport, and to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions and road congestion. Germany notified to the Commission the following amendments to the scheme: (i) a prolongation until the end of 2026; (ii) a budget increase of €388.5 million, bringing the overall budget to ca. €1.5 billion; and (iii) modifications to the scope of eligible costs, in particular the introduction of the possibility to support the replacement of existing transshipment facilities and equipment. The Commission assessed these amendments under EU State aid rules, in particular Article 93 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The Commission concluded that the scheme continues to be necessary and appropriate to promote the use of inland waterways and rail freight transport, in line with the objectives of the EU Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and of the European Green Deal, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. On this basis, the Commission found that the prolongation of the scheme is in line with EU State aid rules. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.104018 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.
Source – EU Commission