Public authorities should note that in some cases both the UK Subsidy Control Regime and the EU State aid rules could apply to a scheme if beneficiary companies are from sectors both within and outside the scope of Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. In this circumstance public authorities should consider contacting DfE Subsidy Control Advice unit before proceeding.
The EU State aid rules, and Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol
Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol provides that the State aid rules will continue to apply to the UK in respect of measures which affect trade in goods between NI and the EU (including the production of and trade in agricultural products) and the production of wholesale electricity in NI (i.e. measures impacting on the Single Electricity Market).
For the State aid rules to apply, the effect on trade between Northern Ireland and the European Union cannot be merely hypothetical, presumed, or without a genuine and direct link to Northern Ireland. It must be established why the measure is liable to have such an effect on trade between Northern Ireland and the European Union, based on the real foreseeable effects of the measure.
Further information on the State aid rules:
- State aid rules, regulations and guidance
- De minimis aid
- General Block Exemption Regulation
- Horizontal and Sectoral State aid rules
The UK Subsidy Control Regime
Until the UK left the European Union, the EU's State aid rules controlled how UK and discretionary EU funding was provided to enterprises and entities that engage in economic activities. Now the UK has left the EU, it is no longer bound by the State aid rules (except when Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol applies) and has developed its own domestic subsidy control regime.
The Subsidy Control Act 2022
The Subsidy Control Act 2022 provides the framework for the provision of subsidies and builds on the provisions in the subsidy control chapters of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement, which applied in the interim after the UK’s exit from the EU.
Please note that the UK subsidy control regime does not replace the State aid rules in respect of measures which affect trade in goods between Northern Ireland and the European Union which will still have to follow the State aid rules.
- Guidance and information on the UK subsidy control regime
- UK subsidy control statutory guidance
- Subsidy control rules: key requirements for public authorities
- Subsidy control principles assessment template
- Streamlined routes
Subsidy Control legislation
- Subsidy Control Act 2022
- The Subsidy Control (Subsidies and Schemes of Interest or Particular Interest) Regulations 2022
- The Subsidy Control (Gross Cash Amount and Gross Cash Equivalent) Regulations 2022
- The Subsidy Control (Subsidy Database Information Requirements) Regulations 2022
- The Subsidy Control (Information-Gathering Powers) (Modification) Regulations 2022
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
The CMA has established a Subsidy Advice Unit (SAU).
The SAU is responsible for discharging the CMA's functions and powers under Part 4 of the Subsidy Control Act 2022.
The CMA published their Guidance on the operation of the subsidy control functions of the Subsidy Advice Unit on 11 November 2022.
The guidance explains the role of the SAU which will provide independent non-binding advisory reports regarding certain subsidies that are referred by public authorities, and will periodically monitor and review the operation of the subsidy control regime.
Role of the DfE Subsidy Control Advice Unit
The DfE Subsidy Control Advice Unit (SCAU) provides advice and assistance to Northern Ireland government departments and their arm's length bodies on the application of the State aid rules and the UK Subsidy Control regime
If you have any questions on any aspect of the arrangements please contact the SCAU by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org