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De minimis rule – exemption of small amounts of State aid from notification
Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 on de minimis aid
It disciplines small amounts of State aid (‘de minimis’ aid) that are exempted from State aid control, as they are deemed to have no impact on competition and trade in the internal market of the European Union (EU).
De minimis aid indeed refers to small amounts of State aid to undertakings (companies) that do not have to be notified to the European Commission by the EU Member States. The maximum amount is € 200,000 for each undertaking over a 3-year period.
State funding that meets the criteria in Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) constitutes State aid, and must be notified to the Commission by virtue of Article 108(3) of the TFEU. However, the Council of the European Union may determine categories of State aid that are exempted from this notification requirement and the Commission may adopt regulations relating to these categories. De minimis aid could constitute one such category and therefore be exempt from the notification procedure.
In 2006, the Commission adopted a de minimis regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1998/2006) which was valid for 2007–2013. It doubled the ceiling for exempted aid amounts from € 100,000 to € 200,000 for each company per 3-year period. This increase accounted for the evolution of inflation and gross domestic product in the EU up to 2006, but also for the likely development of these factors during 2007–2013. Because of the financial crisis, real inflation was considerably lower than anticipated in 2006. A further increase in the ceiling was therefore not warranted on these grounds.
In Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013, which revises and replaces Regulation (EC) No 1998/2006, the treatment of small State aid measures is further simplified. In particular, companies that are experiencing financial difficulties are no longer excluded from the scope of the regulation and will therefore be allowed to receive de minimis aid.
In addition, in Article 2.2, the definition of an ‘undertaking’ has been simplified and clarified.
Furthermore, among other rules in Article 4, subsidised loans of up to € 1 million may also benefit from the de minimis regulation if certain conditions are met.
It has applied since 1 January 2014 and shall apply until 31 December 2023.
Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013 on the application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to de minimis aid (OJ L 352, 24.12.2013, pp. 1–8).
Successive amendments to Commission Regulation (EC) No 1407/2013 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
last update 23.09.2021