State aid guidelines
Finnish shipping is bound by EU policies that aim to strengthen the operating conditions of the EU’s shipping countries.
The EU is concerned that the European merchant fleet will lose competitiveness to the countries of flag of convenience. Finland and the 18 other shipping countries in the EU have either adopted the net wage system or a system of reimbursing or granting reliefs on taxes and non-wage labour costs.
A precondition for reimbursements in the shipping competitiveness support law is that the labour costs of vessels are cut to a level that together with the reimbursements enable competitive operations in international maritime transport. The labour market organizations have agreed on this.
With the help of these reforms, shipping has been sailing in tailwind. Since 2010, the Finnish merchant fleet has strengthened by 14.7%. New jobs have been created (4.4%). We aim to move on to the net wage scheme like many other countries. That would strengthen the positive development under the Finnish flag.
Hans Ahlström is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Finnish Shipowners’ Association and is responsible for labor market and business policy.
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