Brussels, 28 June 2022
The European Commission has approved an approximately €40 million Italian scheme to support cabotage and other maritime services in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework. The measure will be open to shipping companies of all sizes active in the cabotage sector and other maritime services.
Under the scheme, the aid will consists in wage subsidies in the form of an exemption from the payment of social security and welfare contributions due for the period between 1 August 2020 and 31 December 2021. The purpose of the measure is to reduce the labour costs borne by the beneficiaries hereby helping them address their liquidity needs and continue their activities during and after the pandemic. The scheme aims also at preserving employment levels and at avoiding layoffs.
The Commission already approved a scheme to support cabotage and other maritime services in May 2022 (SA.101428) allowing the granting of limited amounts of aid in the form of an exemption from the payment of social security and welfare contributions. The scheme as approved today covers the granting of aid in the form of wage subsidies, thus allowing the total amount of aid per beneficiary to exceed the cap set out in the Temporary Framework for limited amount of aids, provided the beneficiaries meet the relevant conditions. The Commission found that the Italian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.
In particular, (i) the measure will assist companies that are particularly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and is aimed at avoiding layoffs; (ii) the monthly wage subsidy will not exceed 80% of the monthly gross salary of the benefitting personnel; and (iii) the public support will be granted no later than 30 June 2022.
The Commission therefore concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions of the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.102926 in the State aid register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.
Source – EU Commission