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The General Block Exemption and De Minimis Regulations

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1 The General Block Exemption and De Minimis Regulations

2 The General Block Exemption Regulation
Allows you to give aid without having to go through the approval process. Aid giver reviews GBER and puts in place processes to ensure compliance. Inform Commission within 20 days via SANI system In May 2014, Commission adopted new GBER. New rules will be in force from July

3 GBER: Main changes from July
Increased notification thresholds Addition of new aid measures and broadening of existing block exemption categories Help with interpretation of GBER: Ability to submit questions to Commission via BIS. Will be able to view questions from other MS and response. BUT: Light touch approval process required for evaluation processes for larger schemes (>Euro150M) Transparency requirements: national public register of individual awards of aid

4 Types of Aid Permitted Under GBER
Regional aid SME aid Access to finance for SMEs Environmental protection Consultancy and participation in trade fairs for SMEs Risk capital R&D&I Training aid Disadvantaged and disabled workers Natural disasters Social aid for transport for remote regions Broadband Culture and heritage Sport and recreational infrastructure Investment aid for local infrastructure

5 Main changes to Aid for access to finance for SMEs
Block exemption of risk finance measures up to €15m to cover full development cycle (and no cap in Guidelines). Less prescriptive; concept of equity by destination to embrace wide range of aid instruments. More refined approach for aid to start-ups, covering loans guarantees and grants. Maximum grants amounts can be doubled for small and innovative enterprises. New ability to provide aid for alternative trading platfoms, and for scouting costs in relation to risk finance and start-up aid.

6 NEW: Aid for infrastructure
Broadband infrastructure Sport & multifunctional recreation infrastructures Local infrastructures Must have open access & transparency Some allow preferential access to private investors Aid amount cannot exceed ‘funding gap’

7 Aid following natural disasters
Covers the costs of making good the damage from natural disasters Must be formally & officially recognised as a natural disaster Must be a causal link between the disaster and the damage Can cover 100% of both material damage and loss of income (maximum of six months) Aid must be granted with in four years of the disaster Natural disasters – earthquakes, avalanches, landslides, floods, tornados, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions and wild fires of natural origin

8 Culture & heritage conservation
Can be investment or operating aid Investment aid shall not exceed funding gap Operating aid shall not exceed operating losses & a reasonable profit Aid for audio-visual works Aid to the production, pre-production and distribution of audio-visual works Can only be used for ‘cultural products’ Can tie production to a particular location

9 De Minimis Aid Commission Regulation 1407/2013
Aid of up to € 200,000 to one company over a 3 year period. All de minimis aid over rolling 3 year period must be cumulated. Aid giver responsible for checking and ensuring that ceiling is not breached. Recipient must be told that they are receiving de minimis aid and must declare this if offered de minimis aid in the future.

10 Other sources of support
GBER text De Minimis text: FAQ document expected very soon Ability to ask questions directly – via UK state aid unit - and get response within 15 working days

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