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Brussels, 10th July 2007

Commission approves real-estate tax exemption for Polish ports

The European Commission has decided today to authorise a local real-estate tax exemption to benefit the development of seaports in Poland. The exemption to be granted to all Polish port management entities is worth an estimated PLZ 1.98 million (€ 520,000).

The benefit of the measure will be ring-fenced and can only be used by the beneficiary port management entities for their non-commercial activities (the construction, extension, maintenance and upgrading of infrastructure ensuring access to the port and publicly accessible port infrastructure). The three biggest beneficiaries will be the Port Authorities of the Port of Gdańsk, the Port of Gdynia and the Port of Szczecin-Swinoujscie although a number of smaller ports in Poland will also benefit.

After examining the financing measures, the Commission has concluded that the public financing made available for these non-commercially exploitable parts of Polish sea-ports does not constitute State aid. These activities are not liable to distort competition between Member States but are rather public tasks in the general interest benefiting the Union as a whole. Therefore, their financing does not fall within the ambit of the State aid rules.

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