European Commission approves €526.5 million Italian scheme to support the road haulage sector in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
The European Commission has approved a €526.5 million Italian scheme to support the road haulage sector in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary Crisis Framework, adopted by the Commission on 23 March 2022, based on Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’), recognising that the EU economy is experiencing a serious disturbance.
Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Russia’s unjustified military aggression against Ukraine and the related sanctions are having a significant impact on many sectors of the EU and the Italian economy. Among others, road haulage operators have been severely affected by the current geopolitical crisis and the consequent rise in fuel prices. With this €526.5 million scheme, Italy will support them while ensuring the uninterrupted movement of goods by road. We continue to stand with Ukraine and its people. At the same time, we continue working closely with Member States to ensure that national support measures can be put in place in a timely, coordinated and effective way, while protecting the level playing field in the Single Market.”
The Italian measure
Italy notified to the Commission a €526.5 million scheme to support road haulage operators in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The purpose of the scheme is to provide liquidity support to road haulage operators affected by the diesel fuel price increase caused by the current geopolitical crisis and the related sanctions. The measure aims at mitigating the risk of insolvency for these businesses while ensuring the uninterrupted movement of goods by road.
The measure will be open to road haulage operators of all sizes registered in Italy that are affected by the current crisis.
Under the scheme, the beneficiaries will be entitled to receive limited amounts of aid in the form of tax credits.
The tax credit will be granted for the purchase of diesel and AdBlue for fuelling vehicles used in road haulage that have (i) a total mass of 7.5 tonnes or more; and (ii) a Euro 5 or higher category.
The Commission’s assessment
The Commission found that the Italian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework. In particular, the aid (i) will not exceed €400,000 per company and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2022.
The Commission concluded that the Italian scheme is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a Member State, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Crisis Framework.
On this basis, the Commission approved the aid measure under EU State aid rules.