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Brussels, 21st march 2007

Commission authorises extending fiscal aid to wind-propelled commercial cruising vessels in the Netherlands

The European Commission has decided today not to raise any objections to an extension of a Dutch fiscal aid scheme in order to apply reduced remittances for maritime navigation to seafarers of wind-propelled commercial cruising vessels (CCVs). The measure aims to make the Netherlands more attractive to shipping companies that are active in operating wind-propelled CCVs.

The aid scheme stimulates the development of the maritime transport sector and preserves employment of European seafarers on board the EU flagged fleet. In addition, reducing rates of contributions for the social protection and those of wage tax levied on seafarers are explicitly allowed by the relevant European rules[1]. The Commission therefore concluded that the extension is compatible with the common market.

[1] The applicable community framework for deciding on compatibility is the Community guidelines on State aid to maritime transport, OJ C13/3 of 17.1.2004.

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