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The Commission exempts from the notification requirement certain training aid that is compatible with the competition rules.
The Regulation applies to aid granted by a Member State to a company for training purposes. The training may be in any field. It is defined as specific where it is principally applicable principally to the employee's present or future position and general where it provides qualifications that are largely transferable to other firms or fields of work. The risks of distortive effects on competition are higher in the first case than in the second.
Conditions for exemption
Training aid is exempt from the notification requirement, provided that the aid intensity does not exceed a certain percentage of the project's overall cost. So, for a project involving:
- specific training, the aid intensity may not exceed 25% for large firms and 35% for small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
- general training, the aid intensity may not exceed 50% for large firms and 70% for SMEs;
- both specific and general training, the aid intensity may not exceed 25% for large firms and 35% for SMEs.
In certain cases, the aid intensity may be increased by:
- 5 percentage points for firms in areas which qualify for regional aid;
- 10 percentage points for firms in areas where the standard of living is abnormally low or where there is serious underemployment;
- 10 percentage points if the training is given to disadvantaged workers;
- 100 percentage points for aid granted in the maritime transport sector, provided that the trainee is not an active member of the crew and that the training is carried out on board ships.
The eligible costs of a training project are:
- trainers' remuneration;
- trainers' travel expenses;
- trainees' expenses;
- expenses on materials and supplies;
- depreciation of tools and equipment;
- costs of guidance and counselling services;
- trainees' remuneration.
Where training aid meets the criteria for exemption from notification, mention must be made of this Regulation.
Exemption does not apply to individual training projects with a budget of more than 1 million. Exempted aid may not be cumulated with other state aid. The percentages allowed cover all aid, whether financed entirely by the State or partly financed by the Community.
Transparency and monitoring
To ensure appropriate transparency and monitoring, the Commission requires Member States:
- to forward it to a summary of the information on an aid scheme within twenty days of its implementation (Annex II);
- to keep detailed records on aid schemes exempted by the Regulation;
- to compile an annual report on the application of the Regulation (Annex III).
Regulation 994/98 empowers the Commission to exempt certain categories of state aid. In this context, Regulation 68/2001 exempts all training aid that meets certain conditions. Such exemption is justified in that training has positive effects in terms of raising vocational qualifications and increasing the competitiveness of European industry.
Regulation (EC) No 68/2001, initially scheduled to expire on 31 December 2006, was extended a first time until 31 December 2007 by Regulation (EC) No 1040/2006, then a second time until 30 June 2008 by Regulation (EC) No 1976/2006.
|Act||Entry into force - Date of expiry||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 68/2001||2.2.2001 - 30.6.2008||-||OJ L 10 of 13.1.2002|
|Amending act(s)||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 363/2004||19.3.2004||-||OJ L 63 of 28.2.2004|
|Regulation (EC) No 1040/2006||28.7.2006||-||OJ L 187 of 8.7.2006|
|Regulation (EC) No 1976/2006||24.12.2006||-||OJ L of 23.12.2006|
This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.