A New Study on Economic Incentives to Promote Environmentally Friendly Maritime Transport in the Baltic Sea Region Launched

Economic incentives to promote environmentally friendly maritime transport in the Baltic Sea region -study provides a comprehensive overview of the existing economic incentives for maritime transportation in the Baltic Sea region. The aims of our study are to estimate the impact of these incentives, to recognize challenges related to them, and to discover best practices.

In the maritime field, economic incentives include measures such as environmentally differentiated operational fees and taxes, as well as national and EU co-funding for investments in technology and practice.

The report is based on a comprehensive literature review and on questionnaires sent to national administrations, shipowners and shipowners’ associations. For shipowner respondents, the questionnaire was followed-up by semi-structured interviews.

The first comprehensive study on maritime environmental incentives in the Baltic Sea region

According to the study, economic incentives to promote investments to improve the vessels’ environmental performance, both in new ships and retrofits to existing ships, were found influential in reducing the environmental impact of shipping. The administrations of the Baltic Sea region have established several measures to support sustainable maritime transport. National state aid, EU co-funding and financing tools have been relevant instruments and have promoted the investments into environmentally friendly technology. In addition to these methods, environmental taxation was found as an effective economic incentive.

Financing a new ship appears to be a challenge for shipowners today. According to the results, various ship financing possibilities should be further developed to ensure the implementation of environmentally friendly technology in new ships. Likewise, according to the study, in the short term, banks in the region could be encouraged to sign agreements with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to facilitate access to its green ship financing instruments.

Environmentally differentiated operational fees were not found to significantly influence the investments on improving the vessels’ environmental performance.

“The study is the first comprehensive description of maritime environmental incentives in the Baltic Sea region. It provides material for considering international recommendations on economic incentives. The specific purpose of this report is to contribute to work within the HELCOM GREEN TEAM on the use of economic incentives in the Baltic Sea region”, sums up the Finnish co-chair for the GREEN TEAM, Dr. Anita Mäkinen from Traficom. 

Economic incentives to promote environmentally friendly maritime transport in the Baltic Sea region -report can be downloaded from Traficom’s website (External link).

Additional information

Chief Advisor Anita Mäkinen, anita.makinen@traficom.fi ; +358 40 1624592, in Twitter @AnitaMakinen (External link)