Public authorities should note that the information on this page is only applicable when the aid being provided is within the scope of Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. If you are providing support to service sector companies please refer to the information on the State aid and Subsidy control after EU Exit webpage.
Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol
Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol provides that the EC 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).
The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has provided guidance which covers the interpretation of Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol on the EU State aid rules.
Horizontal and Sectoral EU State aid rules
Horizontal State aid rules apply to all sectors. Sectoral State aid rules, as their name suggests apply to specific sectors/industries.
For further information please see Horizontal and Sectoral State aid rules.
Services of General Economic Interest
Services of General Economic Interest (SGEI) are economic activities that public authorities see as being of particular importance to citizens and that would not be supplied (or would be supplied under different conditions) without public assistance.
For further information, please see Services of General Economic Interest.
EU Block Exemption Regulations
The Block Exemption Regulations provide a simple and relatively quick way of obtaining European Commission approval for a range of aid measures that do not unduly distort competition.
For further information please see General Block Exemption Regulation.
EU Industrial de minimis Regulation
As small amounts of aid are unlikely to distort competition, a useful approved EU mechanism for State aid is the industrial de minimis regulation which allows small amounts of aid i.e. less than €200,000 over 3 consecutive fiscal years, to a single undertaking for a wide range of purposes.
For further information on the industrial de minimis regulation, please see De Minimis Aid.
Other de minimis regulations
Separate rules apply to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Road Transport sectors.
- De minimis aid to the agricultural sector is covered by a separate regulation and is capped at €20,000 per farm over three consecutive fiscal years. However, there are certain circumstances when this amount can be increased to €25,000
- De minimis aid to the fisheries and aquaculture sectors also has its own regulation and is capped at €30,000 over three consecutive fiscal years
Other State aid Regulations
- Procedural Regulation – Council Regulation (EU) No 2015/1589
- Public passenger transport services by rail and by road - Commission Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007
Guidance on the EU State aid rules
- State aid: A Beginner's Guide for Public Bodies in Northern Ireland
- BEIS guidance for public authorities on the NI Protocol
- Managing Public Money NI – Annex 4.9
- NI Guide to Expenditure Appraisal and Evaluation (NIGEAE)
- House of Commons briefing paper on EU State aid rules and WTO subsidies agreement (August 2021)
- EPEC Key Elements to help Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to identify potential State aid
- State aid for agriculture and fisheries on GOV.UK
European Commission State aid Information
The Commission Notice on the notion of State aid as referred to in Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union was published in 2016 and gives general guidance on all aspects of the definition of State aid, and can often provide clarification on the more complex elements of State aid.
- State aid control: Overview
- Agriculture and Rural Development
- Public Expenditure in the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector
State aid - Desk Aids
SCAU has developed desks aids to help you assess whether State aid is present in your proposed projects, and what to do if you think it is:
- Is it State aid? Flow Chart
- Is State aid present? 4 Key Questions
- What do I do if it might be State aid?
Please contact DfE Subsidy Control Advice unit if you require advice or assistance.