ANNOUNCEMENT 31 Jul 2020
In July 2020, the European Commission approved a EUR 840 million (approx. USD 989.4 million) German state aid measure that provides guarantees on certain vouchers for the tourism sector in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
SA.57741 COVID-19: Aid in the form of guarantees on vouchers issued for package tours. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_SA_57741
European Commission Decision. Subject: State Aid SA.57741 (2020/N) – Germany
COVID-19: Aid in the form of guarantees on vouchers issued for package tours. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/cases1/202032/287255_2178558_45_2.pdf
On 31 July 2020, the EU approved a German state aid measure that establishes a EUR 840 million (approx. USD 989.4 million) scheme on vouchers issues for package tours in the context of the economic crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The objective of the scheme is to prevent an excessive liquidity outflow of tour organizers, to ensure their economic survival, and to ensure the recoverability of the client’s reimbursement claims. For this, the scheme provides aid in the form of guarantees on vouchers issued to travelers who booked tours before 8 March 2020 that had to be canceled because of the pandemic. The guarantees will correspond to the payment made by each client.
Given that the measure will enter into force in the second half of 2020, the maximum duration of the scheme will be until 31 December 2021.
The European Commission highlighted that “the measure is liable to distort competition, since it strengthens the competitive position of its beneficiaries”, as well as it “also affects trade between Member States, since those beneficiaries are active in sectors in which intra-Union trade exists”.
Regardless, the Commission approved the state aid without raising objections, concluding the measure “is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3)(b) of the TFEU”.
The state aid is approved under the Temporary Framework under the State Aid and its amendment of 2 April 2020. The European Commission adopted the Temporary Framework under the State Aid rules of the European Union on 19 March, see related state act.