Finland: Regional transport subsidy to continue in 2020–2022                   

NordenBladet — The Government issued a decree on regional transport subsidy for 2020–2022 on 30 December 2020. The content of the regional transport subsidy will remain largely unchanged from the previous decree on transport subsidy for 2018–2019. The regional transport subsidy aims to reduce the additional costs of long transport journeys by companies operating in sparsely populated areas, and thereby improve the conditions for business activities in these areas.

Transport subsidy may be granted for goods transport in Finland if the product has been manufactured in one of the following regions: Lapland, Kainuu, North Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, North Karelia, North Savo or South Savo, or the municipal area of Saarijärvi-Viitasaari.

Level of subsidies to remain unchanged
Depending on the length of the journey, the amount of transport subsidy is between 9% and 20% of the transport charge for road or rail transport. The shortest distance eligible for subsidy is 266 km. If the transport has been granted a subsidy for port operations, the shortest distance eligible for subsidy is 101 km. The subsidy for port operations is determined on the basis of the weight of the consignment and is either EUR 1 or EUR 2 per tonne depending on the location of the port.

Transport subsidy is a discretionary government grant. Subsidy may not be granted, for example, in situations where the product in question is considered not to be an actual processed product or where the degree of processing is not considered sufficient. The subsidy also may not be granted if it is considered to distort competition at a more than negligible level.

Transport subsidy is a form of State aid
Transport subsidy is a form of State aid and the granting of the subsidy must comply with the European Union’s State aid rules.

An appropriation of EUR 6 million has been allocated to regional transport subsidy in the 2020 budget. In the draft budget for 2021, the Government has also proposed an appropriation of EUR 6 million for the subsidy.

The number of companies receiving the subsidy is estimated at 240. The ELY Centre in North Ostrobothnia makes the decisions on transport subsidies.

The decree will enter into force on 1 January 2021.


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