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State Aid

PR(08)42: EFTA Surveillance Authority authorises changes to the Norwegian tax refund scheme for seafarers


A state aid scheme which enables shipping companies to be refunded for taxes and social security charges levied on seafarers aboard vessels registered in the Norwegian Ordinary Shipping Register (NOR) was approved by the Authority in october 2006.

Today’s decision approves an alteration to this scheme whereupon a maximum refund per seafarer per year is set. For 2008, this ceiling has been set at NOK 198 000. The ceiling for 2009 and subsequent years will be subject to a decision by the Norwegian Parliament.

The Authority has not raised any objections to this limitation which is in line with the provisions of the Maritime Guidelines. These Guidelines provide for the possibility of EEA States to grant state support in the form of reduction in labour-related costs as long as there is no over-compensation and the system is transparent and not open to abuse.


For further information, please contact:

Mr Amund Utne 

Director, Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 50 or

Ms Maria Segura 
Senior Officer, Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 53



 9 July 2008

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