Royal Decree 237/2013 on aid and financing for shipbuilding


April 11, 2013 saw the publication in the Official State Gazette of Royal Decree 237/2013, of April 5, 2013, amending Royal Decree 442/1994, of March 11, 1994, on aid and financing for shipbuilding in order to bring it into line with the provisions of European Union law.

The new framework applicable to state aid for shipbuilding (2011/C 364/06) (the “Shipbuilding Framework”), published on December 14, 2011, in the Official Journal of the European Union no. C 364, authorizes aid for research, development and innovation and investment, applicable to the shipbuilding industry, as well as permitting aid in the shape of credit facilities granted by the State, where the facilities are in line with the provisions of the 1998 Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits entered into by the OECD and with the Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Ships approved by the OECD on February 28, 2002.

In the wake of this Shipbuilding Framework, the need has arisen to bring the already existing Royal Decree 442/1994, of March 11, 1994, on aid and financing for shipbuilding, into line with both the specific provisions of the above Shipbuilding Framework and its term, running until December 31, 2013.

The following amendments have therefore been made in this new Royal Decree 237/2013, set to enter into force on the day following its publication:

  • in the section on scope and definitions, it amends the reports required by EU legislation and includes the definition of the classes of vessel contained in the new Shipbuilding Framework;
  • it eliminates the provisions on the terms and conditions of operating aid, which allowed aid linked to the contracting of vessels to certain market segments in which unfair competition has caused a significant amount of damage to the shipbuilding industry, given that they are no longer valid;
  • it authorizes restructuring aid aimed at helping to boost competition in the industry, where it is in the form of any of the types of support to the shipping industry that prove compatible at any given time with EU legislation;
  • it determines the terms and conditions of the loans that may qualify for the interest rate subsidy it contains, by eliminating operating aid, on the one hand, and introducing, on the other, the financial terms and conditions of the loans granted to shipowners or third parties, for the constructions and conversions referred to in article 6 and article 7 of Royal Decree 442/1994, as well as the credits on OECD conditions for fishing vessels of not less than 100 gt.

Alongside other nomenclature adaptations, the preamble to the Royal Decree notes that, pursuant to the decision of the European Commission of May 30, 2012, on State Aid no. SA. 34583 (2012/N) – Spain SA. 34584 (2012/N), Spain considers that the prolongation of the Spanish financing scheme for the export of ships and the horizontal aid scheme for shipbuilding, in relation to this Royal Decree is compatible with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.



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