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Change in the Field of State Aid

On 27 April 2009, an amendment to Act No. 215/2004, Coll., on Regulation of Certain Relationships within the Area of State Aid and certain other regulations was published under No. 109/2009, Coll.  New term “state aid coordination body” has been introduced which, in addition to the existing Antimonopoly Office, is the Ministry of Agriculture, since the powers of the act was extended to cover state aid in the fields of agriculture and fishing.

In particular the following amendments are significant for state aid recipients:

The central recording of so-called de minimis aid has been introduced with the aim of making the inspection of use of such small-scale aids more effective already in the phase when aid is being provided. Since 2012, when this system should be fully functional, the state aid provider will be obliged to, first, review the register whether the applicant did not exceed the limit set forth by the relevant regulation of the European Commission. Until 2012, the register will be used for additional monitoring of the limits of the already received state aids.  

The provisions on administrative punishment have been amended. The state aid recipient can be penalized if it fails to submit necessary documents and information to the coordination body. The amount of penalty is a fixed amount (maximum CZK 300,000), i.e. it no longer depends on the amount of aid provided. The collection of unrightfully received aids has been strengthened in the form of violation merits affecting the provider should it not take all measures for return and collection of state aid from its unrightful recipient.

The amendment becomes effective on 1 June 2009, save for the central register of de minimis aids.

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