The European Commission (EC) has granted permission to five schemes to support maritime transport in Estonia, Poland, Cyprus, Denmark, and Sweden.

In addition to promoting the vessel registration in Europe, the schemes will increase the sector competitiveness across the world without distorting competition.

The EC took five separate decisions, including the launch of a tonnage tax and seafarer scheme in Estonia and a new seafarer scheme in Poland.

The EU decided to continue a tonnage tax and seafarer scheme in Cyprus, extend and expand a seafarer scheme in Denmark and extend the seafarer plan in Sweden.

The commission found that the tonnage tax schemes in Estonia and Cyprus comply with the rules limiting tonnage taxation to eligible activities and ships.

It was also discovered that both the Estonian and the Cypriot tonnage tax schemes guarantee that shareholders in shipping firms are treated the same way as in any other sector.

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All five member states, including Poland, Estonia, Cyprus, Denmark and Sweden, have agreed to apply the benefits of their respective schemes to all ships flying the flag of any EU or EEA member state.

In addition to offering equal opportunities to all relevant stakeholders, the schemes will ensure compliance with environmental, social and safety standards in Europe.

In May, the EU awarded €5m to the Flagships innovation project to help build two zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vessels for France and Norway.