The recently enacted "American Jobs Creation Act" gives significant tax breaks to a number of U.S. industries--including shipping.

MARINE LOG and BLANK ROME will present a senior level seminar CHANGES IN U.S. TAXATION OF SHIPPING INCOME in Stamford, Conn. on April 5 & 6, 2004

Make sure you know how the new tax rules work!

March 16, 2005

EC approves shipbuilding innovation aid schemes

The European Commission has approved, under the EC Treaty's rules on state aid, French and Spanish schemes to provide innovation aid to shipbuilding.

The French scheme is worth Euros 25 million annually for six years while the Spanish scheme is worth Euros 20 million annually for two years.

As it did with a similar German scheme, the Commission concluded that the aid was not likely to cause undue distortion of competition within the Single Market and was therefore compatible with EC Treaty state aid rules and in particular with the Commission's framework on state aid to shipbuilding.

The framework introduced revised rules on aid in support of innovation in the shipbuilding sector, in line with the goals of the LeaderSHIP 2015 program to improve the sector's competitiveness .

Under the two schemes on innovation aid to shipbuilding, shipbuilders will be able to benefit from state aid in support of the industrial application of products and processes the implementation of which carries a risk of technological or industrial failure, and which are technologically new or represent a substantial improvement over the state of the art in the EU's shipbuilding industry. The aid can be up to 20 prcent of the expenditure related to the innovative part of the project.

The French Government has budgeted Euros 25 million annually for its scheme, which may run for up to six years. In line with the Commission's decision on restructuring aid to Alstom, its subsidiary Marine d'Alstom will only be able to benefit from this scheme as from July 7, 2006.

The Spanish scheme also allows for aid to shipbuilding companies for regional investments, and for research and development (R&D). The regional investment aid is available for companies situated in regions eligible for such aid and is in line with the shipbuilding framework and the Community Guidelines on national regional aid. The aid for R&D meets the conditions of the Community framework for state aid for such aid.

The budget in Spain for all types of aid together amounts to approximately Euros 20 million per year for the next two years. No such aid will be granted to Izar (or for the commercial shipbuilding activities of the "new Izar," Navantia) before the implementation of the previous Commission decision requiring repayment of earlier aid improperly granted to Izar.


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