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02 August 2021 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 00:40 GMT+2



June 17, 2021

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Original news
The EU Commission has confirmed the validity of the public support to Siremar/SNS and Toremar/Moby companies

Request to Italy to recover about 1.9 million euros for some aid to Siremar/SNS

The European Commission today announced its conclusions related to the investigation into a number of public support measures to in favour of companies of the former Tirrenia group and their respective buyers, an investigation that had been launched in 2011 to verify if those measures had conferred on these shipping companies (Tirrenia, Caremar, Laziomar, Saremar, Siremar and Toremar) a unfair competitive advantage over their competitors in breach of EU state aid rules.

If in January 2014 the Commission had established that some support measures in favour of Saremar were incompatible with the EU state aid rules ( of the 22nd January 2014) and in March 2020 had concluded its investigation into Tirrenia and its buyer CIN ( of the 2 march 2020), and whether the investigation relating to Caremar, Laziomar and some support measures in favour of Saremar is still in place course, ended instead in relation to Siremar and Mr Toremar. In particular, the Commission concluded that the compensation for public service obligations granted from since 2009 to Sicilia Regionale Marittima Spa (Siremar) and Tuscany Regionale Marittima Spa (Toremar) for the management of services ferry complies with EU aid rules state level and that the same applies to the compensation granted to their buyers, respectively Shipping Company Siciliana (SNS) since 2016 and Moby Spa since 2012. The Commission considered incompatible with EU rules on state aid some other measures in favour of Siremar, currently in liquidation, and SNS. The European Commission has specified that Italy will therefore have to recover about 1.9 million euros illegal aid, including interests.

With regard to the measures in favour of Siremar and his sns buyer from 2009, the Commission concluded that the compensation for public service obligations (approximately 199 million granted to Siremar for the management of twenty routes maritime areas, grouped into five geographical areas, from 1 January 2019 2009 to August 1, 2012, is - for sixteen routes - compatible with the 2011 regulation on services of interest general economic policy (SEG) and the 2005 SEG Decision for four maritime routes remain. This compensation - explained the Commission - met an actual service need ensuring regular connections throughout the year and, in addition, the aid granted did not result in overcompensation to favor of Siremar. About the compensation of service obligations (approximately 668 million) granted to SNS for the management of routes between 11 April 2016 and 11 April 2016. 2028 as well as the tender procedure for the sale of the siremar's business to SNS are not then configured as aid to state because the criteria set out in the case are met C-280/00, Altmark Trans. The EU Commission also specified that the ability to use resources from a national fund to meet the liquidity needs of Siremar does not constitute State aid since it does not it is an additional aid measure, but it is equivalent to simply to a transfer within the State to to finance the compensation of public service obligations. the possibility, then, to use for liquidity purposes certain funds intended for the modernisation of vessels for safety requirements should not be considered as an aid to State because, in the final analysis - explained the Commission - Siremar did not make use of this possibility.

On the other hand, with regard to the illegal extension of one year, more than six months rescue aid to Siremar - it has been the Commission has specified - it is incompatible with the 2004 guidelines on State aid for rescue and restructuring of firms in difficulty and must be Retrieved. Italy will also have to recover the exemptions from certain taxes granted to Siremar and SNS in context of the privatisation process, resulting in a reduction in of the costs that both companies would otherwise have had to exemptions that therefore constitute incompatible aid Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

The Commission has announced that the amount to be recovered is of about 1.7 million euros from SNS and 200 thousand euros from Siremar, figures including interest applicable to recovery. the Commission, noting that there is no continuity between Siremar and SNS, specified that the obligation to refund the amount of 200 thousand euros will not be transferred to SNS.

With regard to the measures in favour of Toremar and his moby buyer from 2009, the Commission explained that compensation for public service obligations (about 32 million euros) granted to Toremar for the management of five routes from 1 January 2010 to 1 January 2012, it was compatible with the 2011 SYIs framework. This compensation - clarified the Commission - met an actual need to public service ensuring regular connections throughout the year, and the aid granted did not result in overcompensation in toremar's favor. Compensation for the obligations of public service (approximately EUR 175 million) granted to Toremar and Moby for the management of six routes in the period from 2 January 2012 and 31 December 2023, as well as the tender for the sale of Toremar to Moby, do not constitute aid state level because the criteria set out in the Case C-280/00 Altmark Trans. Here, too, the Commission specified that the ability to use resources from a national fund to meet the needs of liquidity of Toremar does not constitute state aid since this is not an additional aid measure, but it amounts to a transfer within the state to finance the compensation of public service obligations, and that the ability to use for liquidity purposes certain funds intended for the modernisation of vessels for safety requirements should not be considered as an aid to state as Toremar, as well as Siremar, you have not availed of this possibility. Finally, some tax exemptions related to the privatisation process in Toremar do not constitute state aid as they do not confer an economic advantage or to Toremar or Moby.




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