New Commission Block Exemption Regulation and amendments to the Regulation

Amendments to the General Block Exemption Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of the European Commission are in effect as of 10 July 2017, see here.

The title of the amendment regulation is “Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/1084 amending Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 as regards aid for port and airport infrastructure, notification thresholds for aid for culture and heritage conservation and for aid for sport and multifunctional recreational infrastructures, and regional operating aid schemes for outermost regions and amending Regulation (EU) No 702/2014 as regards the calculation of eligible costs”.

The amendment regulation made the following amendments to the General Block Exemption Regulation No 651/2014::  

  • Article 1 (Scope) – paragraph 1 (new aid objectives were added); paragraph 3 (application of the Regulation on the fishery and agriculture sector and the primary agricultural production sector was specified); paragraph 4 (a) and (c) (implementation of the Deggendorf principle was specified and the prohibition of providing aid to undertakings in difficulty in case of start-up aid schemes and regional operating aid schemes was alleviated); 
  •  Article 2 (Definitions) – point 39 (the definition of “operating profit” was replaced); points 42 and 48, new point 48, point 55 and new point 61a (supplemented in connection with regional operating aid); new points 144–165 (definitions for aid for ports and airports were added);
  • Article 4 (Notification thresholds) – notification thresholds for cultural aid (investments and operating aid) granted pursuant to Article 53 and investment aid for sport and multifunctional recreational infrastructures granted pursuant to Article 55 were increased; notification thresholds for aid for ports and airports were added;
  • Article 5 (Transparency of aid) – new point (k) was added in paragraph 2 (transparency in the sale or lease of tangible assets);
  • Article 6 (Incentive effect) – points 5(a) and 5(d) were replaced (specifying cases where incentive effect is deemed to be present);
  • Article 7 (Aid intensity and eligible costs) – paragraph 1 was amended (reference to Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council was added in connection with simplified cost options); paragraph 3 was specified (with regard to discounting); paragraph 4 was deleted (discounting of aid in case of tax advantage);
  • Article 8 (Cumulation) – new paragraph 7 was added (special rule for outermost regions);
  • Article 12 (Monitoring) – article was replaced, incl. new paragraph 2 was added (obligation of a Member State to establish a control mechanism in case of automatic tax aid);
  • Article 13 (Scope of regional aid) – article was replaced;
  • Article 14 (Regional investment aid) – paragraph 6 was specified; paragraph 7 was specified (requirements in the event of fundamental change in the production process now only applies to large undertakings); new points 16 (obligation of the beneficiary to confirm that the establishment has not been relocated) and 17 (requirement for the fisheries and aquaculture sector) were added;
  •  Article 15 (Terms and conditions for operating aid in outermost regions) – the article was replaced;
  • Article 21 (Risk finance aid) – paragraph 16 was amended (option for providing quasi-equity investments structured as debt was added);
  • Article 22 (Aid for start-ups) – paragraph 2 was replaced (eligibility of undertakings); 
  • Article 25 (Aid for research and development projects) – paragraph 1 was replaced (projects of Horizon 2020 having received a Seal of Excellence quality label were added);
  • Article 31 (Training aid) – point 3(b) was replaced (eligibility of accommodation costs);
  • Article 52 (Aid for broadband infrastructures) – paragraph 2a was added (alternative to establish a maximum amount of aid for a project on the basis of the competitive selection process);
  • Article 53 (Aid for culture and heritage conservation) – point 2(a) was replaced (cinemas were added); paragraph 8 (maximum amount of aid was increased to 2 million euros); paragraph 9 (limitation of maximum amount of aid was specified);
  • Article 54 (Aid schemes for audiovisual works) – paragraph 4 was specified;
  • Article 55 (Aid for sport and multifunctional recreational infrastructures) – paragraph 12 was replaced (maximum amount of aid was increased to 2 million euros);
  • new Article 56a was added (Aid for regional airports);
  • new Article 56b was added (Aid for maritime ports);
  • new Article 56c was added (Aid for inland ports);
  • Article 58 (Transitional provisions) – paragraph 1 was replaced; new paragraphs 3a and 5 were added;
  • Annex II Part II (Information regarding state aid exempted under the conditions of this Regulation) – new aid objectives were added; aid to SMEs (articles 17–20) were divided by Articles;
  • Annex III (Provisions for the publication of information as laid down in Article 9(1)) – references in footnotes 2 (NACE) and 3 (specification) were amended.

New  Block Exemption Regulation is effective as of 1 July 2014 –  Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty (OJ L 187, 26.06.2014, pp. 1–78).

General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) - Frequetly Asked Questions (PDF).

Pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 651/2014, state aid may be granted for the following objectives:

  • Regional aid
    • regional investment aid (Article 14)
    • regional operating aid (Article 15)
    • regional urban develpoment aid (Articel 16)
  • Aid to SMEs
    • investment aid to SMEs (Article 17)
    • aid for consulatncy in favour of SMEs (Article 18)
    • aid to SMEs for participation in fairs (Article 19)
    • aid for cooperation costs incurred by SMEs participating in ETC projects (Article 20)
  • Aid for access to finance for SMEs
    • risk finance aid (Article 21)
    • aid for start-ups (Article 22)
    • aid to alternative trading platforms specialised in SMEs (Article 23)
    • aid for scouting costs (Article 24)
  • Aid for research and develpoment and innovation
    • aid for research and development projects (Article 25)
    • investment aid for research infrastructures (Article 26)
    • aid for innovation clusters (Article 27)
    • innovation aid for SMEs (Article 28)
    • aid for process and organisational innovation (Article 29)
    • aid for research and development in the fishery and aquaculture sector (Article 30)
  • Training aid (Article 31)
  • Aid for disadvantaged workers and for workers with disabilities
    • aid for recruitment of disadvantaged workers in the form of wage subsidies (Article 32)
    • aid for employment of workers with disabilities in the form of wage subsidies (Article 33)
    • aid for compensating the additional costs of employing workers with disabilities (Article 34)
    • aid for compensating the costs of assistance provided to disadvantaged workers (Article 35)
  • Aid for environmental protection
    • Investment aid enabling undertakings to go beyond Union standards for environmental protection or to increase the level of environmental protection in the absence of Union standards (Article 36)
    • Investment aid for early adaptation to future Union standards (Article 37)
    • Investment aid for energy efficiency measures (Article 38)
    • Investment aid for energy efficiency projects in buildings (Article 39)
    • Investment aid for high-efficiency cogeneration (Article 40)
    • Investment aid for the promotion of energy from renewable sources (Article 41)
    • Operating aid for the promotion of electricity from renewable sources (Article 42)
    • Operating aid for the promotion of energy from renewable sources in small scale installations (Article 43)
    • Aid in the form of reductions in environmental taxes under Directive 2003/96/EC (Article 44)
    • Investment aid for remediation of contaminated sites (Article 45)
    • Investment aid for energy efficient district heating and cooling (Article 46)
    • Investment aid for waste recycling and re-utilisation (Article 47)
    • Investment aid for energy infrastructure (Article 48)
    • Aid for environmental studies (Article 49)
  • Aid schemes to make good the damage caused by certain natural disasters (Article 50)T
  • Social aid for transport for residents of remote regions (Article 51)
  • Aid for broadband infrastructures (Article 52)
  • Aid for culture and heritage conservation
    • Aid for culture and heritage conservation (Article 53)
    • Aid schemes for audiovisual works (Article 54)
  • Aid for sport and multifunctional recreational infrastructures (Article 55)
  • Investment aid for local infrastructures (Article 56)

 

Last updated: 6 July 2018