The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves renewing temporary amendments to Norway’s seafarer tax refund scheme in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

 

COVID-19 pandemic: ESA approves renewing temporary amendments to Norway’s seafarer tax refund scheme* 

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has today approved a renewal of temporary amendments to a Norwegian aid scheme that grants tax and social security contribution refunds.

The refunds are granted to shipping companies employing Norwegian and EEA seafarers on Norwegian flagged vessels. The amendments lift refund ceilings and increase refunds by an estimated NOK 230 million (EUR 22.6m).

The aid scheme was initially approved by ESA in April 2016 for a period of 10 years. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ESA in July 2020 approved temporary amendments to the scheme for July and August 2020.

The amendments temporarily lifted ceilings in the scheme that would otherwise limit refunds of taxes and social security contributions paid for EEA seafarers in:

  • Maritime transport related to petroleum activity;
  • Certain transport of goods and passengers, and;
  • Shipping related to construction and maintenance work.

Today’s decision allows the same temporary amendments to the scheme for the period 1 January 2021 until 30 June 2021.

ESAs decision can be found here.

*This is the original title of the press release. The title above has been amended in order to match the e-Competitions format. Individual authors are welcome to provide original independent commentaries on the case law. Articles are subject to approval by the Board of e-Competitions Bulletin before publication based on the Editorial Policy (click here).

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EFTA Surveillance Authority, The EFTA Surveillance Authority approves renewing temporary amendments to Norway’s seafarer tax refund scheme in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, 18 February 2021, e-Competitions Competition Law & Covid-19, Art. N° 99381

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