In order to ensure free and fair competition within the European Union, a policy of controlling the State aid that a company can receive is being implemented. State aid is defined as aid granted by the State or through state resources, favoring one or more enterprises, affecting trade between EU countries and liable to distort competition between undertakings, giving an advantage to some of them over their competitors.

In the context of the above policy, the De Minimis rule or de minimis aid was introduced in 1992, amended in 2006 and concerns the European Union’s state aid policy for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as for enterprises active in the transport sector and for the processing and marketing of agricultural products. This rule stipulates that:

The total aid that an enterprise may receive over a three-year period may not exceed the ceiling of € 200,000.  For the road transport sector, the ceiling of € 100,000is specifically applied.

These ceilings apply irrespective of the form of the aid (we are always talking about minor importance)  or the objective pursued and it is irrelevant whether the aid granted by the Member State concerned is financed in whole or in part by resources of Community origin. The relevant period of time is determined on the basis of the financial year as implemented by the undertaking concerned in the Member State concerned.

The de Minimis rule is often encountered in NSRF programs. De Minimis applies only to de minimis aid is defined as ‘transparent’.

Transparent Aid

Aid shall be considered to be “transparent” when it is possible for it to calculate in advance and  accurately the gross grant equivalent without the need for a risk assessment.

Such accurate calculations can be made for the following aid that is considered “transparent” for the EU:

  1. capital injection aid (grants), for which the total amount of the state contribution does not exceed the de minimis ceiling;
  2. risk capital aid if the risk capital scheme concerned provides capital to each recipient undertaking only up to the de minimis ceiling;
  3. aid in the form of loans, provided that the gross grant equivalent is calculated on the basis of the market rates in force at the time the aid is granted,
  4. individual aid granted under a guarantee scheme to undertakings in difficulty in difficulty where the part of the underlying loan guaranteed under the scheme concerned does not exceed EUR 1 500 000 per enterprise (or EUR 750000 respectively for the road transport sector);

Exceptions to the De Minimis Rule

It should be noted that the following are excluded from the scope of the de minimis Regulation:

  1. the   fisheries and aquaculture sector,
  2. the primary production of agricultural products,
  3. aid to undertakings engaged in the processing and marketing of agricultural products in the following cases:
    • where the amount of the aid is fixed on the basis of the price or quantity of such products sold by primary producers or marketed by the undertakings concerned;
    • where the aid is accompanied by the obligation to re-render it in part or in full to primary producers;
  4. aid to undertakings linked to exports to third countries or to Member States;
  5. aid for which the use of domestic goods is made a condition,
  6. aid to undertakings active in the coal sector,
  7. aid for the acquisition of road transport vehicles to undertakings carrying out transport operations for third parties, and
  8. aid to firms in difficulty

De Minimis Cumulation Check

The cumulation check is an operational control, in accordance with the De minimis Regulation, to avoid exceeding the funding threshold, taking into account all de minimis aid received by an undertaking.

If the specific enterprise is linked to other enterprises, it submits a relevant table of grants with data of all enterprises (affiliated / cooperating) and finally for the de minimis control, the grant amounts of each enterprise are added up according to the percentage of participation / connection with the enterprise in question.

The cumulation of de minimis aid with other State aid for the same eligible costs is also controlled as it prohibits cumulation from giving more than that determined on the basis of the specific circumstances of each case in a block exemption regulation or decision adopted by the Commission.

Aid under the Temporary Support Framework does not constitute De minimis aid. The cumulation check for De minimis programs up to the amount of EUR 200 000 is carried out only on the basis of de minimis cumulation between them and not on the basis of cumulation with other aid such as aid falling under programs launched under the limits of the Temporary Support Framework (threshold of EUR 500 000).

The Information System for the Cumulation of State Aid (

The Information System for the Cumulation of State Aid of Minor Importance records the data relating to the control of cumulation for the monitoring of compliance with the de minimis State aid regulations.

The purpose of the operation of the CP is to control the thresholds for cumulation, as specified in the de minimis regulations, in order to ensure that the thresholds set are not exceeded. The system records the data required for calculating the total amount of de minimis aid granted to a single undertaking.

Each simple user of the system can enter his TIN to see in a group all the business plans that concern his business and are supported by national and European sources of funding, the action in the context of which they are implemented, the total amount of aid as well as in what legal framework they are included (eg De Minimis regulation, temporary framework, etc.).