Last updated: 17 July 2023
- Filed under:
- Legal News
- Cristina BOJICA
Starting with July 7, 2023, the date of entry into effect of the GEO no. 68/2023, companies operating in the construction materials production sector may be eligible to receive state aid of up to 50 million euros under the CONSTRUCTPLUS multiannual national program 2023 – 2026.
The non-reimbursable state aid scheme introduced by the new regulation amounts to 596 million euros, with 149 million euros allocated in Romanian currency for the year 2023.
Value of the state aid
The state aid provided under this scheme amounts to maximum 50 million euros, without exceeding 75% of the investment and to the maximum aid intensity outlined in the Regional Map authorized by the European Commission under the Decision C (2021) 9750 dated December 20, 2021, and approved by the Government’s Decision no. 311/2022.
The beneficiary of the regional state aid must provide a financial contribution of at least 25% of the total eligible 1 costs of the investment project from their own funds, which cannot originate in other type of public aid and provided that the regulations on the state aid intensity mentioned in Annex No. 2 of the GEO no. 68/2023 are abided by.
The value of the state aid can be increased by 5-10 percent if the investment is located in a rural area or in one of the last 10 ranking counties according to GDP per capita.
Eligible investments - Financing conditions
The investments under the CONSTRUCTPLUS program must cumulatively meet the following eligibility conditions:
- qualify as initial investments or initial investments fostering a new economic activity:
- For SMEs, state aid is granted for an initial investment in all regions of Romania, except for the Municipality of Bucharest and the localities in Ilfov County not listed in Annex No. 2 of Government Emergency Ordinance no. 68/2023.
- For large companies, the state aid is granted: (a) for an initial investment in all regions of Romania, except for the Municipality of Bucharest and Ilfov County, and (b) only for an initial investment for a new economic activity in the localities of Ilfov County specified in Annex No. 2. - prove to be economically efficient within the scope of the state aid scheme and their viabile during the implementation period of the investment, which is 5 years from the completion date for large companies and 3 years for SMEs;
- meet the quantitative and qualitative indicators that will be established in the Applicant's Guide, which will be approved by the Government within 60 days from the date of entry into force of the emergency ordinance;
- must be carried out in the eligible fields of activity mentioned in Annex 1 of the Government Emergency Ordinance.
Active companies can benefit from state aid under the scheme if they cumulatively meet the following eligibility criteria at the time of the application for funding:
- Undertake to make an initial investment in Romania in one of the CAEN (National Classification of Economic Activities) domains listed in Annex No. 1 of Government Emergency Ordinance no. 68/2023;
- Do not fall under the category of "enterprises in difficulty";
- Are not undergoing foreclosure, insolvency, bankruptcy, judicial reorganization, dissolution, operational closure, liquidation, or temporary suspension of activities unless they have restructuring and payment rescheduling plans;
- Are not subject to a claw back decision in relation to a state aid or, if such decisions have been issued, they have been executed, and the aid, including interests, has been recovered in accordance with the applicable legal provisions;
- Have not transferred their operations to the unit where the initial investment for which the aid is requested in the two years preceding the funding application and they undertake not to do it for a period of up to 2 years after the completion of the initial investment for which the aid is sought.
- Do not have any outstanding tax obligations or other budgetary claims managed by the central fiscal authority;
- Have a positive rentability of the turnover in at least one of the last three completed financial years;
- Have positive equity capital in the last completed financial year; 9. have a subscribed and paid-up share capital, with a minimum value of 100,000 lei; 10. are not owned by shareholders/partners who have held or currently hold shares or interests in another company registered under the provisions of Law no. 31/1990, carrying out or having carried out the activity for which funding is being requested, within the last 2 years preceding the date of the registration of the funding application.
Newly established companies are also eligible if they carry out activities in the CAEN domains specified in Annex No. 1 of GEO no. 68/2023 and if they (1) have a minimum subscribed capital of 100,000 lei, and (2) they do not have shareholders/partners who have held or currently hold shares or interests in another company registered under the provisions of Law no. 31/1990, carrying out or having carried out same activity for which funding is being requested, within the two years before the date of the registration of the funding application.
The state aid payment is executed through the reimbursement of expenses incurred by the beneficiary within 60 business days from the date when the request for state aid payment is deemed complete.
The final payment request submitted to the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship, and Tourism must be December 31, 2028, at the latest.
The total estimated number of companies expected to benefit from state aid under the aid scheme is 30. Funding agreements can be issued under this scheme until December 31, 2026, in accordance with the legislation on state aid and the Regional Map for Romania, subject to the annual budget allocated to the scheme.
The payment of state aid shall be made during the period 2024-2029, based on the issued funding agreements, within the allocated budget of the scheme.
- Eligible costs include, among others, the VAT-excluded costs related to the realization or acquisition, as applicable, of tangible and intangible assets exclusively exploited by the beneficiary of the state aid. Additionally, under certain conditions, costs related to the lease of tangible assets may also be eligible. For large companies, costs related to intangible assets are eligible only up to a ceiling of 50% of the total eligible costs of the initial investment, whereas for SMEs, costs related to intangible assets are 100% eligible.