In June 2021, the European Commission approved a Hungarian aid scheme to support enterprises offering single wagonload transport services. 



  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 0 liberalising


European Commission, Letter to the Member State on 3 June 2021, State Aid SA.59448 (2020/N) – Hungary – Support for rail freight transport (single wagon scheme):

European Commission, SA.59448 Single Wagon Load Scheme:

Inception date: 03 Jun 2021 | Removal date: 31 Dec 2025

Financial grant

On 3 June 2021, the EU approved the Hungarian aid scheme to support rail freight enterprises registered in Hungary and the European Economic Area. Hungary has indicated an overall budget of EUR 82.1 million (approx. USD 99.5 million) with a maximum annual budget of EUR 17.9 million (approx. USD 21.7 million). 

More specifically, the scheme provides direct grants to enterprises offering single wagonload transport services and consists of two sub-measures. The aid is calculated based on a standard cost model. 

The first sub-measure is subsidising half of the difference of external costs between rail and road freight transport, which is indicated as HUF 9.59 per net ton-km (approx. USD 0.033 per net ton-km).

The second sub-measure is financing the total costs of using the rail infrastructure. The maximum allowed aid amounts are  HUF 8.38 per net ton-km (approx. USD 0.029 per net ton-km) for domestic transport and HUF 4.95 per net ton-km (approx. USD 0.017 per net ton-km) for import-export. Hungary expects that between 5 to 15 enterprises could qualify for this aid. The Ministry of innovation and Technology is acting as the granting authority.  

The scheme aims to promote the modal shift from road to rail and to increase the competitiveness of the rail freight sector. 

In this context, the European Commission’s Decision highlights that the measures concern "markets that have been liberalised", thus are "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.