International road freight hauliers using the connections of the Finnlines shipping company from the port of Bilbao to the ports of Zeebrugge and Antwerp in Belgium, Helsinki and Kotka in Finland and Paldisky in Estonia, and/or the Brittany Ferries service between Bilbao and the Irish port of Rosslare, can now benefit from the first non-competitive subsidy programme for eco-incentives to promote maritime freight transport based on environmental and socio-economic merit. This first call is part of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan funded by the European Union – Next Generation EU for 2022-2023.
The Eco-Incentive, which in the case of the shipping and ferry services offered by Brittany Ferries and Finnlines from the Port of Bilbao ranges from 3.4 to 9.7 euros per eligible unit, may be applied for by international road freight hauliers by using eligible units transported wholly or partly by sea between ports situated in Member States of the European Union.
All activities undertaken between 20 September 2022 and 31 March 2023 will be eligible under this call. All natural or legal persons resident in a Member State of the European Union, whether shippers, carriers or transport operators, and who have paid the sea freight corresponding to the eligible activity, may apply for the subsidies corresponding to this call of the Eco-Incentive from 1 April 2023 until 30 June 2023 at 12:00 noon.
The aim of the eco-incentives is to subsidise the use of maritime freight transport services in direct proportion to a proven environmental and socio-economic merit. This is measured as a reduction in external costs of sea transport
as compared to road transport, thereby indirectly contributing to the consolidation, development and improvement of the environmental performance of the aforementioned shipping services. This initiative is designed to consolidate and increase the modal share of maritime freight transport, promoting the improvement of its environmental performance and the transfer from road to sea transport with objective criteria of sustainability, prioritising investments that optimise the use of the transport network and provide greater social benefit with a view to building resilient infrastructures and achieving sustainable and safe mobility.