ANNOUNCEMENT 01 Feb 2022
On 1 February 2022, the European Commission approved a direct grant scheme from Italy to support port and other maritime support services in overcoming the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
SA.101055 COVID-19: Aid to companies holding port concessions
European Commission's decision, SA.101055
On 1 February 2022, the government of Italy introduced a EUR 22 (USD 24) million financial grant scheme. This scheme will support port and maritime operators holding state concessions and carrying out support services related to water transport. It aims at compensating those companies for damages suffered between 1 January 2021 and 31 July 2021 as a result of Covid-19-related restrictions. The scheme is in force until 30 June 2022.
Under the scheme, the Ministry of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility will be responsible for administering the scheme. Aid shall not exceed EUR 2.3 million per undertaking.
In its decision, the European Commission noted that: "The measure is liable to distort competition, since it strengthens the competitive position of its beneficiaries. It also affects trade between Member States, since those beneficiaries are active in sectors in which intra-Union trade exists."
Regardless, the European Commission decided not to raise objections on the grounds that the scheme "t is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union."
The state aid is approved under the Temporary Framework under the State Aid and its amendments. The European Commission adopted the Temporary Framework under the State Aid rules of the European Union on 19 March 2020 (see related state act)
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.