The French government has announced the opening of two new aid schemes for their fishing industry as part of Plan Résilience
Annick Girardin, the French Minister for the Sea, and Julien Denormandie, Minister for Agriculture and Food, have announced the opening of two new aid schemes for investments in fishing ports, fish markets, landing and in the processing and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products.
This opening is the result of several months of negotiations with the European Commission, which approved in early March 2022 the two systems supported by France.
In a context marked both by the Covid-19 pandemic and by the consequences of Brexit on the sectors, the government wishes both to strengthen France’s resilience and food sovereignty and to support the companies managing fishing ports, fish markets and landing sites on the coast, as well as large processing and marketing companies for fishing and aquaculture products. A budget of 14 million euros is allocated to each of these two categories of company.
Aimed at large companies, this call for projects is the 4th component deployed within the framework of the fisheries and aquaculture part of France Relance, to which a total of 100 million euros are devoted. It complements other aid schemes already implemented, particularly for SMEs, through one-stop measures and calls for projects for sustainable investments (third wave of calls for projects in progress, including 35 million euros earmarked for the structuring of the fishing sector).
It was also announced today that French fishermen will be entitled to financial assistance when it comes to the fuel crisis. Jean Castex, the Prime Minister of France announced that the French fleet will receive ‘exceptional financial assistance equivalent to €0.35 per litre on their diesel “so that all declared boats can return to sea as soon as possible”.
Regarding general measures, beyond the announcement of the fuel discount of 15 cents per liter, the Prime Minister also specified:
“Firstly, the state-guaranteed loan (PGE), the borrowing ceiling of which will be raised to 35% of turnover, against 25% today, which will allow companies affected by this crisis to cope with in the event of difficulty repaying their maturities in the coming months.
Second device: deferrals of tax and social charges , access to which will be facilitated for companies in difficulty by the increase in energy prices or the loss of export outlets. To this end, they may contact the services of the DGFiP and the URSSAF, to which the corresponding instructions will be given.
“Finally, the use of partial activity: I have decided to extend the long-term partial activity scheme (APLD) by 12 additional months, for the agreements already signed and we are setting up support by the services of the State for branches and companies not covered to date which will be able to sign agreements until the end of 2022, to which I strongly invite them.”
The news was welcomed by the Minister for the Sea who said, “Our fishermen have not been spared in recent years: the health crisis, Brexit and today the fuel crisis. Faces with these trials the French government has been at their sides and continues to be. Faced with the emergency, the State is mobilising.”