ANNOUNCEMENT 19 Feb 2021
In February 2021, the European Commission approved the 2021 budget for the Italian scheme to support shipping companies.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
SA.59183. Budget increase of “Marebonus” scheme to promote highways of the sea :
European Commission decision. SA.59183
On 19 February 2021, the European Commission approved the re-establishment of the Italian scheme to support shipping companies known as "Marebonus". The 2021 budget was set at EUR 30.45 (USD 37) million. Notably, there was no budget assigned for the 2020 fiscal year, as the last year the scheme was in force was 2018 (see related state act).
Under the scheme, the Italian government provides direct grants to support sea services for combined freight transport as well as the upgrade of the same services on already existing routes. The grants aim to cover the additional operating costs that are borne by the beneficiaries when switching to a more environmentally friendly mode of transport.
In this context, the European Commission recalled the 2016 Decision: "Support by the Italian authorities of coastal and short-sea shipping may distort or threaten to distort competition between the undertakings providing costal and short-sea freight transport services and competitors offering freight transport services by other modes."
Regardless, the Commission has decided not to raise objections to the aid on the grounds that the measure "is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3)(c) TFEU".
The state aid is notified under the following objective: Sectoral development.
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.