On 25 July 2012, the European Commission approved a financial grant scheme from Finland to support the shipbuilding industry. 




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Inception date: 01 Aug 2012 | Removal date: 31 Dec 2013

Financial grant

On 25 July 2012, the European Commission approved a EUR 60 (USD 75) million financial grant scheme from Finland. The scheme will support “shipyards registered in Finland for the purpose of building, repairing or converting of ships, as well as for the purpose of constructing floating and moving offshore structures.” The scheme covers aid for both seagoing vessels and inland waterway vessels but is not applicable to fishing vessels. The scheme is in force from 01.08.2012 to 31.12.2013.

The purpose of the scheme is to foster innovative shipbuilding by granting innovation aid to shipyards in Finland. Under the scheme, the aid will be provided in the form of grants for the eligible costs. Notably, The innovation aid is “limited to supporting expenditure on investments, design, engineering and testing activities directly and exclusively related to the innovative part of the project and incurred after the date of the application for innovation aid, except for costs for feasibility studies undertaken within 12 months prior to the aid application for an innovative process”. 

In this context, the European Commission noted that: ”Such state aid will be granted by Finnish public authorities and involve public funds. By its nature (direct grant) such aid brings economic advantages to specific undertakings. Given the existence of inter-state trade within the internal market in the shipbuilding sector and given the existence of several other shipyards active on the same market, the aid is likely to distort competition and affect trade between Member States.” (par.20)

Regardless, the Commission has decided not to raise objections to the innovation aid scheme for the Finnish shipbuilding industry on the grounds that “the notified aid scheme for the Finnish shipbuilding industry is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3)(c) TFEU read in conjunction with the 2011 Framework.”

The state aid is notified under the following objective: Innovation.

A state act in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the financial support granted here is discriminatory.