ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYYes
According to Germany, "The aim of the 2013 scheme remains unaltered. The scheme aims at increasing the competitiveness of German internationally operating shipping companies. In addition, it shall be ensured that jobs for German and EEA seafarers are secured." In addition to the 2013 scheme, and "[...] in order to include all seafarers which come under the obligation to contribute to the German social security system the present scheme will apply to seafarers employed on vessels registered in Germany which fly the flag of a Member State of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. [...] The aid is granted in the form of a non-repayable grant for the reduction of social security contributions [...]" In the previous scheme, only vessels flying a German flag were eligible to the scheme.
"The estimated overall budget amounts to EUR 264 million" (para. 4, 9, 13 and 15 letter from the EC to Germany, Brussels 06.12.2016). The implied 88 million EUR/year constitute a more than 50% budget increase compared to the 2013-2017 scheme.
The European Commission argues in the same way as it did in its evaluation of the the 2013 scheme, that "[...] the measure is also imputable to Germany and it is liable to distort competition and affect trade by strengthening the competitive position of the beneficiaries in the European shipping market, which is a fully liberalised market open to international competition." (para. 17 letter from the EC to Germany, Brussels 06.12.2016)
In the GTA database, the determination of whether a policy instrument discriminates against foreign commercial interests turns on whether it creates or alters the relative treatment of domestic firms versus foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory because the state aid is not available to competing firms outside of the implementing jurisdiction.
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