This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
De minimis aid
The de minimis rule is updated to exempt aid of less than EUR 200 000 from the requirement to notify the European Commission in advance.
Commission Regulation (EC) No 1998/2006 of 15 December 2006 on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the Treaty to de minimis aid.
This new regulation updates the de minimis rule, extending its scope and doubling the de minimis ceiling.
De minimis rule
Article 108(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (ex-Article 88(3) of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC)) requires state aid to be notified to the European Commission so that it can assess whether the aid is compatible with the common market in the light of Article 107(1) TFEU (ex-Article 87(1) TEC). However, under Regulation (EC) No 994/98 certain categories of aid can be exempted from the notification requirement.
The de minimis rule was introduced in order to exempt small aid amounts. It sets a ceiling below which aid is deemed not to fall within the scope of Article 107(1) TFEU and is therefore exempt from the notification requirement laid down in Article 108(3) TFEU.
De minimis ceiling
Aid of no more than EUR 200 000 granted over a period of three years is not regarded as state aid within the meaning of Article 107(1) TFEU.
A specific ceiling of EUR 100 000 applies to road transport.
The three-year period corresponds to three financial years.
The ceiling, set initially at EUR 100 000 in Regulation (EC) No 69/2001, has thus been doubled.
In order to prevent any abuse, the regulation applies only to transparent de minimis aid.
Aid is regarded as transparent when the amount can be calculated precisely in advance without needing to carry out a risk assessment.
The following count as transparent aid:
The regulation does not apply to aid for fisheries and aquaculture, the primary production of agricultural products, export-related activities, the coal sector, the acquisition of road freight transport vehicles or firms in difficulty, or to aid tied to the use of domestic over imported goods.
It applies to aid granted to firms in all other sectors, including transport and, on certain conditions, for the processing and marketing of agricultural products.
Cooperation by the EU member countries
EU countries are required to check that the total amount of de minimis aid granted to a firm over a period of three financial years does not exceed EUR 200 000.
When they grant de minimis aid, EU countries must inform the undertaking concerned of the amount of aid and of its de minimis character, making express reference to Regulation (EC) No 1998/2006.
The de minimis rule, first introduced in a Notice published in 1996, was established by Regulation (EC) No 69/2001. The experience gained in applying that regulation as well as trends in inflation and the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) justify updating its rules.
The new de minimis Regulation forms part of the Commission's State Aid Action Plan and complements the guidelines on risk capital investments and the framework for state aid for research and development and innovation.
Entry into force - Date of expiry
Deadline for transposition in the Member States
Regulation (EC) No 1998/2006
1.1.2007 - 31.12.2013
OJ L 379 of 28.12.2006
Last updated: 18.10.2011