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De minimis aid explained

Public funding to a limit of (Euro) 200,000 over a three year period is considered by the European Commission to have a negligible effect on trade and competition. Therefore, it can be awarded as de minimis.


Project funding does not need to be cumulated with de minimis as long as it is not awarded for the same project. De minimis cannot be used to 'double fund' projects already in receipt of support, though it can be awarded to meet other costs associated with the said project.

De minimis is recommended as a last option when awarding public money, and recipients should be informed when monies are awarded thus, to ensure compliance with the three year rule.

Exclusions apply, including:

  • Export-related activities
  • The purchase of road freight vehicles
  • In the fisheries sector, activities to increase fishing yield, or to build fishing vessels

The de minimis ceiling is lower in two sectors:

  • Agriculture – set at (Euro) 15,000
  • Fisheries – set at (Euro) 30,000

The Scottish Government provides FAQs on de minimis funding, and the State Aid Unit can answer any further queries. 

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