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Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport Works on New Tender to Boost Fleet Renewal

Mar 25, 2023International0 comments

The Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is reportedly working on a new procedure to allocate resources for the renewal of the national shipping fleet, after the partial failure of the first “fleet renewal decree.” The initial decree allocated only 186 million euros out of the 500 available, due to the modest participation of Italian shipowning companies. The Ministry is now in discussions with industry representatives to remove some of the constraints to which the subsidies were subject and is reportedly considering some of the correctives requested by the potential beneficiaries.

To improve the new tender, the Ministry is considering removing the minimum limit of 100 gross tonnage and including cruise ships and those employed on routes that call for a single European port. However, some requests, such as the extension of the terms for the interventions and the possibility of entrusting the interventions to non-European shipyards, may be more difficult to grant due to the will or possibility of the Ministry to implement them.

The new tender will have to take into account the recent changes made to the European legislation governing exemptions in the field of state aid, specifically the General block exemption regulation (Gber). The rewritten article regulating aid for means of transport will condition the release of the public contribution for both retrofit and newbuilding to the definition of a “clean vehicle” for the beneficiary ship. This means that the ship must be a zero-emission unit or powered by at least 25% zero-emission fuels. This condition applied in the first tender, making many of the approved interventions impossible, and it could frustrate the new attempt.

In conclusion, the new tender is expected to take into account the requests of Italian shipowning companies, as well as the recent changes to European legislation governing state aid. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport is working to find a compromise solution that will improve the allocation of resources for the renewal of the national shipping fleet.