Government proposes appropriations to assist shipping
The Government has complemented its proposal to Parliament on the fourth supplementary budget proposal for 2020.
The Government proposes a supplementary appropriation of EUR 24.8 million for awarding grants for the operation of cargo and passenger shipping companies.
"It is absolutely essential for the Finnish economy and the business sector that maritime transport be kept operational in all circumstances. We want to ensure that the maritime transport capacity is sufficient and that shipping companies remain operational. The primary goal is that transport services operate on market terms and start to recover as the restrictions put in place to mitigate the COVID-19 epidemic are being phased out gradually. With this appropriation we can support the operation of shipping companies, if that turns out to be necessary," says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
As a result of the coronavirus crisis and the restrictive measures taken as a consequence, the cash flow situation of Finnish cargo and passenger shipping companies has deteriorated considerably and the basis for these companies' operations has become more difficult.
According to the proposal, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency could grant a total of around EUR 25 million to cargo and passenger shipping companies in the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The purpose of the additional appropriation is to maintain the capacity to support transport services whenever that is considered necessary in the light of the circumstances.
A precondition for awarding a grant would be that a public service obligation or another obligation for providing transport services be imposed on the shipping company applying for the grant in terms of the subsidised route, vessel and frequency of services.
The Transport and Communications Agency would be responsible for awarding the grant and supervising its use. Provisions on the specific terms and conditions for awarding a grant would be laid down in a government decree. The grant must also meet the conditions set by the EU rules on state aid.
On 5 June, the Government submitted its fourth supplementary budget proposal for 2020 to Parliament. The Government supplemented the proposal on 11 June 2020.
Miikka Rainiala, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 571 7751