EC approves Finnish state-aid scheme for marine companies

The European Commission (EC) has approved a €600m ($670m) Finnish guarantee scheme to support maritime companies during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme was approved under the state aid Temporary Framework first adopted in March 2020.

The scheme is accessible to maritime operators which are essential for maintaining supplies to Finland.

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy at the EC, said that “this €600m Finnish guarantee scheme will help those maritime companies that transport essential supplies to Finland and are affected by the current coronavirus crisis to cover their immediate working capital needs and continue their activities”.

Vestager said that it was “the first scheme we have approved specifically designed to support the maritime sector in these difficult times.”

Public support will take the form of state guarantees on working capital loans. The measure will be directly operated by the Finnish State Treasury, the EC said.

The commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules after concluding it was “necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State”.