Assarmatori: urgent necessity of subsidies for cabotage connections

The Secretary General of Assarmatori, Alberto Rossi, argued, during the hearing organized by the Ambiente, Territorio e Trasporti Committees of the Chamber of Deputies (which are currently examining the so-called “Decreto Infrastrutture”), the necessity to implement a simplification procedure of the measures related to the sea.

With regard to the measure contained in Article 89 of the Decreto Legge 104/2020, which had provided for a 50 million compensation, then extended to 70 million by the 2021 Legge di Stabilità, it seems today necessary to amend the Italian legislation to the European Union’s directions. The latter has requested the extension of the subsidy to all ships flying the flag of Member States. Through the Decree under scrutiny, the Government is proposing a new interpretation of Article 89. Assarmatori shares undoubtedly this position, expecting that the long-awaited aid will be granted.

The aggregate economic damage of the crisis is estimated approximately at 400 million, which will be partially equipoised through this fund, calling for a quick issuing of the Decree.

In contrast, the measure envisaged by the Decreto Agosto 2020 (related to the tax reduction of seafarers engaged in cabotage, as provided for by Article 88 of the aforementioned Law Decree) had been adopted hastily and extended three times until the end of 2021. However, issues related to the new cost assessment derived by the extension of the aid to all ships registered in EU registers hindered the adoption of the amendment.

Assarmatori deems that the elucidations provided to the Ministry may enhance the process aimed to include this measure within the scope of the “Decreto Infrastrutture”, supporting through state aids those companies that have continued to ensure essential services to the Country throughout the lockdown period.