TAX CONFERENCE

The recently enacted "American Jobs Creation Act" gives significant tax breaks to a number of U.S. industries--including shipping.

MARINE LOG and BLANK ROME will present a senior level seminar CHANGES IN U.S. TAXATION OF SHIPPING INCOME in Stamford, Conn. on April 5 & 6, 2004

Make sure you know how the new tax rules work!

February 17, 2005

European Commission approves German shipyard aid scheme

The European Commission has approved a Euros 27 million (about US$35 million) German federal government scheme to provide "innovation aid" to shipbuilding.

The scheme is the first of its kind to be approved after the entry into force in January 2004 of the Commission's framework on state aid to shipbuilding. The framework introduced revised rules on aid in support of innovation in the shipbuilding sector, in line with the goals of the the LeaderSHIP 2015 program to improve the sector's competitiveness (see IP/03/1464).

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes commented: "Economic growth and higher employment will only result if we improve innovation in all areas of the Single Market. The aid proposed here by the German Government is exactly the kind of focussed, innovation-based aid that can bring real benefits to the European economy."

Under Germany's new scheme on innovation aid to shipbuilding, shipbuilders will be able to benefit from state aid in support of the industrial application of products and processes the implementation of which carries a risk of technological or industrial failure, and which are technologically new or represent a substantial improvement over the state of the art in the EU's shipbuilding industry.

The aid can be up to 20 percent of the expenditure related to the innovative part of the project. Over the next four years, the German Federal Government has budgeted some Euros 27 million for this purpose.

One of the objectives of the Commission's framework for state aid to shipbuilding is to encourage greater efficiency and competitiveness, particularly through the promotion of innovation.

The Commission says that certain unique features of shipbuilding--such as short production series, the size, value and complexity of the products and the commercial use of prototypes--mean that this is currently the only sector eligible for innovation aid.

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