In the state budget, the Norwegian government proposes to introduce a new incentive scheme to encourage more transport by sea. This will strengthen short sea shipping, provide environmental gains, improving road safety and free up capacity on Norwegian roads, says Minister of Transport and Communication, Ketil Solvik-Olsen.
For the three-year pilot scheme, the government proposes to set aside NOK 30 million (€ 3,3 million) for the initial year 2017. Companies that can verfify that a new or improved line will cause permanent shift of cargo are eligible for support.
It is important for us that the scheme leads to lasting transfer of goods. It is essential that cargo owners are use the service when the new or modified lines are started, and that the offer is being established in line with the needs of the last owners. It is crucial that shipowners and cargo owners cooperate, says the Minister.
Both new and existing routes are eligible
The incentive scheme is designed in line with the guidelines of State Aid for maritime transport in the EEA (European Economic Area) Agreement. This means that the companies can get grants for establishing new transport service, or the upgrading of existing services, between ports in the European Economic Area. At least one of the ports must be in Norway. According to the State Aid Rules a shipping line must be selected for the aid, but this is also important to achieve lasting transfer of cargo. To create attractive offers that moves freight from road to sea, the shipping company must document close cooperation with freight shippers.
Support depends on social benefits
Applicants must provide evidence that the cargo is transferred from road to sea and verify that the shipping service is sustainable after the grant period. A project can receive funding for up to three years.
The social benefits of the project will be used to calculate the support amount for the new service. The social benefit is the net savings for the society costs of transporting goods by sea instead of by road.
Source: European Shortsea Network
Image: Minister of Transport and Communication, Ketil Solvik-Olsen.