Brussels, 27th June 2007
Maritime transport: Commission authorises
income tax and social insurance refund mechanism for Swedish
The European Commission has today approved the
modified reintroduction of a mechanism in Sweden to refund seafarer's income tax
deducted at source as well as employers' social insurance contributions in
respect of Swedish tax liable seafarers working on Swedish flagged vessels. The
measure is expected to decrease flagging-out of the European maritime fleet,
preserving employment and maritime know-how in the Community.
The Commission has examined the measure and has authorised it after checking
its compliance with Community rules, notably:
- The aid is in the form of a refund of tax, employers' social insurance
payments and the additional fee on paid wages, it is transparent and no
overcompensation is possible.
- It is only available for Swedish tax liable seafarers working on board
Swedish flagged vessels.
- In respect of seafarers working on board vessels (including ro-ro ferries)
providing scheduled passenger services between ports of the Community, shipping
aid shall be granted only to European
- It is designed to stimulate the Swedish shipping sector by making seafarers
more attractive to employ but it has requirements in relation to training places
and insurance cover.
- The measure is also extended to publicly procured transport domestic traffic
(cabotage) services but only as and from 1 January 2009 when the current
contract for the only qualifying such service comes up for
The measure also covers an additional fee levied on paid
wages (allmän löneavgift). The previously authorised scheme was
approved by the Commission in 2001.
The modified scheme will run from now until 17 January 2011 and is expected to
cost up to SKK 1800 million (€ 200 million) a year.
 Citizens from the
European Communities and the European Economic Area.
 State Aid No N
542/2001, 30.10.2001, SG(2001) D/292010.