How TEN-T can provide financial support to MoS projects?
The trans-European network of Motorways of the Sea is intended to concentrate flows of freight on sea-based logistical routes in such a way as to improve existing maritime links or to establish new viable, regular and frequent maritime links for the transport of goods between Member States, in order to reduce road congestion and/or improve access to peripheral and island regions and States.
TEN-T funding supports the following MoS-related actionsfocusing either on establishing maritime-based MoS links or elaborating wider benefit actions:
- Implementation projects (works projects)
- Studies taking the form of pilot actions
- Start-up aid for MoS services
Implementation projects (works projects)
The project proponents may apply for up to 20% co-financing (30% for cross-border actions - please look for specific criteria applied to these projects in the FAQ section). The following two types of actions are given priority in the selection process:
- Maritime link based projects
- Projects of wider benefit
The objective of maritime link based projects is to establish or improve MoS services along main freight transport corridors, based on new maritime links or improvement of existing ones. The projects should involve at least two ports from two different Member States, one maritime operator and ideally hinterland transport operators. Broader consortia involving terminal operators, logistics companies or ship brokers are expected as appropriate. The investments in infrastructure should be targeted towards overcoming or preventing transport bottlenecks. Involvement of shipping companies and other transport operators should be demonstrated through their direct participation in the project as beneficiaries or through letters of support/intent.
The services should focus predominantly on freight transport. The efficiency of MoS services will be evaluated on the basis of modal shift calculations until 2025 and the anticipated reduction of external costs of transport. The transport (maritime-based) service must be achieved at the latest 6 months before the end of the project – otherwise the EU financial aid will be reduced to 10%. The viability of the transport service must be substantiated through detailed market analyses of freight flows and business plans. Competition analysis of the project impact on other transport services and ports in the same or nearby regions will also be expected in the proposals. These types of projects are subject to a compulsory pre-selection process through regional joint calls for proposals organised by Member States. The regional calls are published regularly.
The following infrastructure or facilities which must remain open to all users on a non-discriminatory basis can be co-financed:
- high water protection devices (e.g. dikes, breakwaters, locks)
- lights, buoys, beacons; ramps, jetties, signposting
- infrastructure and facilities up to the terminal site (e.g. for temporary storage of loading units, facilities for drivers, facilities for shore side electricity, waste treatment facilities, terminal handling equipment)
- intermodal terminals in ports and hinterland
- land and sea access to port, including dredging for the purpose of MoS, rail, inland navigation and road connecting links to the TEN-T or national land transport networks, connections to intermodal centres
- electronic logistics management systems
- administration and customs facilities (e.g. VTMIS, reporting and information exchange systems, administrative simplification)
- safety and security measures
- waterways and canals to shorten sea routes
- ways of ensuring year-round navigability, such as facilities for dredging or icebreaking
Priority will be given to open-access non-movable facilities or infrastructure.
Projects of wider benefits which could also be submitted for TEN-T co-financing include, for example: deployment of LNG bunkering infrastructure for ships at a wider regional scale, system of using shore-side electricity, icebreaking, dredging operations, setting up common IT systems, traffic monitoring and management or electronic reporting systems that are not linked to specific ports, but rather cover defined larger geographical areas relevant for the Motorways of the Sea. Wider benefit projects should check existing projects and knowledge to avoid duplication in the same region, to re-use "standards" and to plan collaboration (what has already been done cannot be repeated).
Studies taking the form of pilot actions
These actions are co-financed at a rate up to 50% of the eligible costs. The objective of these projects is to introduce new and innovative concepts and technologies (no R&D) in the pre-implementation phase. They can include for example actions aiming at reducing the administrative burden by setting up single windows for MoS services, cargo tracking and tracing systems within the entire MoS chain, validation of the operational benefits of new ro-ro ship prototypes or of innovative, environmentally friendly ship propulsions/engines for MoS services, innovative logistics concepts accelerating intermodal operations in terminals. The pilot actions cannot be repetitive therefore the applicants are kindly requested to consult the list of existing MoS projects in the 'MoS Examples' section before submitting their applications.
Up to 50% co-financing for studies of wider benefits carried out at a regional or European scale or study parts of infrastructure projects could be eligible. The studies of wider benefits could cover for example environmental aspects or Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), both related to MoS.
Start-up aid for MoS services
Up to 30% co-financing of two years of depreciation of eligible capital costs can be requested by potential beneficiaries in areas such as user specific infrastructure/facilities (e.g. terminal equipment, buildings), fixed or semi-mobile equipment (e.g. cranes or ramps), locomotives, ships or vessel equipment allocated to MoS service or adjustment of vessels for the purpose of MoS.
The start-up support under the TEN-T Guidelines is limited to two years. For example, if a ship costing €50 million is depreciated over 20 years, co-funding could be requested amounting to 30% of €2.5 million (depreciation per year) per year, over a period of two years. The total allowable subsidy would thus be €1,500,000.
The aid may not exceed the minimum estimated amount required to start up the links concerned and may not lead to distortion of competition in the relevant markets.
Start aid cannot be cumulated with aid for the same action from the Marco Polo programme.
General remarks on co-financing MoS projects under the 2012 Call for proposals:
Costs incurred between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2015 will be considered as eligible. The budget available in 2012 is €80 million. Priority is given to implementation projects (maritime link based projects or projects of wider benefits). Consequently, the resources available for studies are limited to 20% of the overall budget.
A project proposal can combine different co-financing rates within one application, such as for implementation works as well as the study parts. The study parts of infrastructure projects should be clearly separated from works though and it should be clearly demonstrated that the undertaking of the works is not dependent on the execution and/or conclusion of the study(ies).
All types of projects must be supported and submitted jointly by at least two Member States. In addition, the implementation projects are subject to obligatory pre-selection processes through regional joint calls for proposals organised by Member States.
Project extension to a neighbouring non-EU country requires additional governmental endorsement from that country. The project part extended to a non-EU country is not eligible for TEN-T co-financing.
It is also not possible to cumulate TEN-T co-financing with support from other EU financial instruments, such as ERDF etc for the same part of action or activity. In case of the co-financing of any part of a MoS project from other EU funds, the project proponent should provide a detailed explanation of all activities in order to demonstrate a full and coherent scope of the project.
The text of the 2012 Multi-Annual work programme and the 2012 MoS Call for Proposals can be consulted for more information. Please note that only those two documents are legally binding.