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18 January 2020 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 20:32 GMT+1

September 17, 2019

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Daunting analysis of the ITF on the subsidies to the marine transport

Data available insufficient and approximate. Uncertain objectives. Different regimes and distorted you of the competition

Which is the effectiveness of the state subsidies to marine navigation from the point of view of the safeguard of national the naval fleets and the occupation in the field of the shipping? It is unknown with exactitude and sometimes not even approximately. This the conclusion (daunting) of the relationship "Maritime subsidies: I give they provide value for money" with which the International Transport Forum, the think tank of the OCSE for the policies for transport, it has analyzed the forms of direct subsidies and indirect that are made available for the marine field in the nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Develop, job that is realized in order to estimate if such aids supply benefits to the contributors and in order to offer to the political recommendations on as increasing the effectiveness of such contributions.

An attempt, that of the ITF, than but has met with the lack of information detailed on the capacity of the aids. "Many nations - the ITF in the diffuse relationship explains today - apply subsidies to marine navigation, but their total consistency is not famous as sussistono systemic gaps in the data". Even if the information on the entity of the aids are very sketchy, the document of the International precise Transport Forum that "at least three billions of euro per year are spold in the Countries of the OCSE only for three types of subsidies: the tonnage tax, the tax exemptions for fuels for national the marine transport and the fiscal measures in order to reduce the wage burdens of the marine ones".

Beyond to being sketchy, there is also little transparency of the data. "Currently - specific the relationship - the majority of the governments does not collect systematically given on the amount of the respective subsidies to the marine field" and "also the nations that systematically monitor the development of the marine field, usually do not include given on the marine subsidies in their relationships. Consequently they lack given on the marine subsidies. The European Union - the ITF specifies - has a data bank on the aids of State that allows to identify a meaningful part of the marine subsidies. However all the marine subsidies are not notified as aids of State and therefore the data bank of the EU does not supply given complete on the marine subsidies".

The relationship of the ITF finds moreover that "the data on the effects of the marine subsidies still more are limited. Only little governments report regularly on this aspect. One of these is Sweden, than public relation anniversaries on I use it of the marine subsidies and on the probable effects on the marine field. Other governments manage such documents but they do not return them publics necessarily. Various governments sometimes estimate determined marine subsidies, as the tonnage tax, but many of these appraisals lack rigor".

But not to be clear they are also the objectives of the regimes of aids to the marine transport. "The main challenge for the definition of the policies - the International Transport finds Forum - is the sparsity of tests that the marine subsidies reach the objectives fixed beforehand, for example relatively to the safeguard of national the naval registries and the occupation of the marine ones". According to the ITF, "the redefinition of the relative policies to the subsidies to the marine transport it could improve the results and in existence stop the race to the decrease between the regimes of subsidies. A total convergence of the reforms - the ITF evidences moreover - would be ideal in order to guarantee conditions of parity between the concurrent flags; moreover incremental improvements could be obtained and the subsidies would be more effective if their objectives were clarified and subordinated to positive effects, as for example the decarbonizzazione and the occupation".

The ITF emphasizes moreover that "the regimes more distorted you from the economic point of view would have to constitute the priority of a reform" and that "on the whole a greater transparency of the marine subsidies would have to bring improvements in order to return the attainment of the total political objectives possible".

The relationship of the ITF examines also the various types of subsidies to the marine field, between which the tonnage tax that it is applied in sundries and various multiple forms to and which aimed at different of the marine transport, until covering also terminalistiche activities and of cargo handling in the ports, enclosed withins beginning from years ‘90 in many nations between which Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Holland, Spain and Sweden. Inclusion - the relationship clarifies - than "from the 2011 EU commission has publicly accepted with its relative decision to the case of tonnaxe tax Finnish (EC, 2011, 2017c, 2017d) and in the questionnaire on the review of 2012 of the lines it guides on the marine transport has explicitly declared that the terminalistiche activities in the ports can be enclosed in the scope of tonnage tax (EC, 2012)".

To such purpose the relationship of the International Transport Forum observes that "the inclusion of the terminalistiche activities in the scope of the tonnage tax could distort the market of the companies of line navigation and of the terminalistiche activities. The companies of line navigation that possess container terminal and that they use them for own ships - explain the document - fiscal advantages could receive that are not accessible to navigation companies that they do not possess container terminal. The terminals operator controlled from the marine carriers and those independent ones compete in the same market, therefore to offer special a fiscal treatment to a group but to the other does not determine a distortion". Distortion - the relationship - that single verification in is not confronted of the independent terminals operator, but also of the shippers finds, since various containerized companies of navigation "have the ambition to supply services similar to those of the shippers". Moreover the relationship of the ITF emphasizes that this type of distortion to advantage of the companies of line navigation "probably is facilitated by alliances, consortia and agreements for sharing of ships".

Relatively to the occupation in the marine field, the relationship remembers that the majority of the subsidies is connected indirectly to the support of national the marine occupation, connection that generally is realized through the national property or the national flag of the ship, as it presumes that at least a part of the marine employees from the national companies of navigation that obtain subsidies will be constituted by marine national or communitarian if of the EU, hypothesis - the relationship specifies - of which it can be questioned the seen validity the developments of the last decades for example with the introduction by the majority of the nations of the OCSE of international registries. "The connection of the marine subsidies, as for example the tonnage tax, to marine the national ones - the relationship of the ITF evidences - risks to weaken itself when the marine subsidies are extended to the international registries. An other source of worry - law in the document - is that often on these ships it is not allowed a trade-union representation". Generally "the fiscal regimes on the tonnage - the relationship continues - do not demand that the navigation companies that benefit some assume marine national. This can explain the paradoxical situation for which the occupation of the marine ones of the OCSE the increase of the taxes on the tonnage in nations OCSE and in spite of the increment of the offer of marine is diminished although of the OCSE".

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