In November 2020, the European Commission approved a German state aid measure to support operators of single wagon rail freight transport. 



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European Commission, Letter to the Member State on 4 November 2020, State Aid SA.58046 (2020/N) – Germany, Support for rail freight transport (single wagon):

European Commission, SA.58046 Support for rail freight transport (single wagon):

Inception date: 04 Nov 2020 | Removal date: 30 Nov 2025

Financial grant

On 4 November 2020, the EU approved the German aid scheme to support rail freight enterprises offering single wagon transport services. Germany has indicated an overall budget of EUR 600 million (approx. USD 704 million) with a yearly budget of EUR 120 million (approx. USD 141 million). The scheme is in force until 30 November 2025. 

The scheme provides direct grants to rail freight operators active in single wagon transport by subsidising access charges that fall due when using marshalling yards and train formation facilities. Eligible beneficiaries may apply each year for the aid. The Federal Railway Authority, as the granting authority, will calculate a single funding rate based on all yearly aid applications. 

The scheme aims to strengthen the position of rail freight transport compared to other forms of transport, thereby contributing to a shift "from road to rail". 

In this context, the European Commission’s Decision highlights that the measure "concerns markets that have been liberalised", thus "is liable to distort competition and to have an effect on intra-EU trade". 

The Commission, however, approved the state aid without raising objections, concluding that the measure is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 93 of the TFEU.

A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.