General Block Exemption Regulation

The General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) provides State aid cover for categories of aid which are exempt from the European Commission's (EC) formal notification process.

Public authorities should note that the information on this page is only applicable when the aid is being provided to an undertaking (i.e. a business) which is within the scope of Article 10 of the Windsor Framework. 

About the General Block Exemption Regulation

The General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) allows Member States to provide aid without going through the EC's full notification process. 

Aid givers providing aid under the GBER must register the award of aid, or the scheme under which it operates, within 20 working days of its commencement.

Amendments to the GBER 

July 2017

The GBER was amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/1084  to extend the scope of the GBER to ports and airports (Sections 14 and 15 of Chapter III). Other amendments include an increase in the notification thresholds for measures supporting culture and sports/multifunctional recreational infrastructure and new anti-relocation provisions relating to regional investment aid. You can read more about the changes in the Commission's Frequently Asked Questions document.

July 2020

In July 2020 the EC prolonged the GBER until December 2023 by Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/972.

July 2021

The GBER was further amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2021/1237 to simplify rules for aid combined with EU support and to introduce new possibilities to implement aid measures supporting the twin transition and the recovery from coronavirus pandemic. You can read more about the changes in Commission's Frequently Asked Questions document.

June 2023

On 23 June 2023, the Commission formally adopted an amendment  to the GBER (Commission Regulation (EU) 2023/1315) to further simplify and speed up support for the EU's green and digital transitions, whilst protecting the level playing field in the Single Market.

Other amendments include an increase of notification thresholds for environmental aid and research, development and innovation aid, a decrease in the reporting threshold from €500,000 to €100,000 and the prolongation of the GBER until 31 December 2026.

How to find out more about the GBER

You can find out more about the GBER in State aid: A Beginner's Guide to State aid for Public Bodies in Northern Ireland.

Transparency of GBER Schemes

Member States must publish information on their GBER schemes so that it can be easily accessed by anyone who wants to see it.

DfE Subsidy Control Advice Unit maintains a:

To update the list of schemes, please contact: subsidycontrol@economy-ni.gov.uk

GBER Transparency Reporting

Any individual provision of support with a value of €100,000 or over must be reported to the European Commission (EC) using its online reporting system. The information provided by the Member States is published on a Transparency database that can be accessed by the public.

DfE Subsidy Control Advice Unit (SCAU) co-ordinates input of information regarding Northern Ireland GBER payments over €100,000 and commissions returns on a quarterly basis from known GBER aid providers in Northern Ireland. 

If you have any questions about the GBER Transparency requirements, please contact SCAU using the email address above.

Further information

 

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