ANNOUNCEMENT 08 Nov 2012
On 18 February 2013, the European Commission decided not to raise objections against a direct grant of 285 million EUR notified by the German government in November 2012 which aims to partially cover the non-wage labour costs in maritime shipping for the years 2013 - 2017. The original scheme was approved in 2006 and prolonged until the end of 2012.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
European Commission case summary (SA.35684)
European Commission letter to Germany, 22.01.2015
According to Germany, 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. The scheme is restricted to seafarers on board of vessels registered in a German ship registry and flying the German flag. The grants are paid as a non-repayable subsidy for the reduction of additional wage costs. The overall budget of amounts to 285 million EUR [57 million EUR/year]. (para. 5, 8 letter from the EC to Germany, Brussels 22.01.2015 [translated from German, because English version not available])
Based on the findings of the European Commission, the measure is 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. 15 letter from the EC to Germany, Brussels 22.01.2015 [translated from German, because English version not available])
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.