Brussels, 11 November 2022
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €500 million Italian scheme to help companies in the maritime transport sector to acquire clean and zero-emission vessels, as well as to retrofit more polluting vessels. The measure contributes to the achievement of the objectives of the Commission’s European Green Deal and ‘Fit for 55′ package. The scheme will be funded through its Complementary Fund set up with national resources to supplement Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The scheme will be open to shipping companies registered in Italy that provide maritime transport connections between an Italian port and European and/or Mediterranean ports, or operate within Italian ports. The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular Article 107(3)(c) TFEU, which enables Member States to support the development of certain economic activities subject to certain conditions, and the Guidelines on State aid for climate, environmental protection and energy 2022 (‘CEEAG’). The Commission found that the scheme is necessary and appropriate to support the reduction of harmful emissions in the maritime transport sector. Furthermore, it has an ‘incentive effect’ as the beneficiaries would not carry out the investments without the public support and has a limited impact on competition and trade within the EU. On this basis, the Commission approved the Italian measure under EU State aid rules. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said:
“The €500 million scheme approved today will help companies operating in the Italian maritime transport sector to reduce harmful emissions and achieve greater energy efficiency in line with the European Green Deal objectives. At the same time, the scheme ensures that any potential competition distortions are kept to the minimum.”
A press release is available online.
Source – EU Commission