Commission Authorizes Italian State Aid

Friday, July 19, 2002
The Commission has decided to authorize an Italian aid scheme granting an incentive to shipowners for the elimination of single hull tankers over 20 years of age. Strict conditions regarding the promotion of the use of double tankers have been specified in the aid scheme. The Commission welcomes the objective of the proposed aid, which aims at implementing Community maritime safety legislation and achieving higher safety standards in maritime shipping, prior to it becoming mandatory. Italy has notified a draft aid scheme granting an incentive to ship owners for the elimination of single hull tankers over 20 years of age. The Italian legislation goes beyond Community legislation on the phasing-out of single hull tankers. It covers tankers of less than 5 000 dead weight tonnes whose operation is not restricted by current Community rules.Under the proposed scheme, shipowners who demolish old tankers equipped to transport crude oil or oil and chemical products will benefit from a maximum aid of just under 4 million € (7 500 million ITL). During the 6-months investigation procedure the Italian government gave further guarantees that were incorporated into and clarified by the present decision. These guarantees allowed the Commission to come to the conclusion that the aid scheme will provide an important contribution to the protection of the environment and to safer seas.

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