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Finnish Gov't Launches Eco-Shipping Subsidy Program

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

18 March 2013


The Finnish Government is to launch a new fund on April 1, 2013, to support Finnish shipping companies in their efforts to meet new environmental targets.

On 14 March, the Finnish Government issued an amendment to the Decree on investment aid improving the level of environmental protection of ships. The amendment is to enter into force on April 1, 2013, while applications for investment aid will be accepted from April 2, 2013.

With this amendment, the scope of aid is extended so that it may also be granted to ships that are already in use, rather than exclusively to new ships. The change reflects new requirements placed on shipping companies to achieve quantatitive targets on the reduction of harmful emissions. Most recently, amendments to MARPOL Annex VI have required ships of 400 gross tonnage and above to implement changes to their vessels to mitigate environmental damage.

The Finnish Government explained that from April 1, 2013, aid can be targeted at retrofitting vessels with emission abatement technologies, in particular sulfur scrubbers. Investment aid may also be granted to technical solutions that introduce alternative fuels or reduce emissions from fuels. Within the aid scheme approved by the EU, state aid to sulfur scrubber retrofitting operations may total a maximum of 50% of the costs included in the project.

The Finnish 2013 Budget earmarked EUR30m (USD38.8m) towards the incentive, which will be overseen by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

TAGS: marine

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