Labour cost reimbursement scheme
Finnish shipping is supported within the boundaries of the state aid rules set out by the EU Commission. The EU aims for competition neutrality with regard to flag of convenience countries.
For shipping, this is not a question of aid as such, but a labour cost reimbursement scheme where the state reimburses the employees’ taxes and their social security and pension contributions.
In Finland, we should adopt the net wage scheme that is commonly used in the EU countries and e.g. in Sweden. The system safeguards the competitiveness of responsible European shipowners in relation to flag of convenience countries. Compared to the current system, the net wage scheme would make the system clearer and easier to understand, and it would simplify and decrease the amount of administration work required and strengthen the position of small shipowners.
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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