Brussels, 10 March 2009
The scheme is an extension of an earlier scheme authorised by the Commission in 2005.
It will benefit combined goods transport operators using the rail mode. The level of the aid has been set to compensate operators for the cost of using combined transport infrastructure which road transport does not have to bear – in particular the cost of transhipment – and to offset part of the difference between external road and rail costs.
The subsidy is to be granted where the rail component of the combined transport covers a distance of 51 kilometres or more.
This new scheme has a new feature not provided for in the previous scheme, i.e. aid for launching new combined international transport services. Combined transport operators are also required to pass on the subsidy they receive to their clients.
The Commission takes the view that the Belgian aid scheme complies with the competition rules and contributes to the common transport policy goal of promoting the rail aspect of combined goods transport.
 On the basis of Article 3(1)(b) of Regulation (EEC) No 1107/70 on aid for the coordination of transport.