On 12 July 2023, the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (‘FSR’) started to apply. This new set of rules enables the Commission to address distortions caused by foreign subsidies allows the EU to ensure a level playing field for all companies operating in the Single Market, while remaining open to trade and investment.
In recent years, foreign subsidies appear to have distorted the EU’s internal market, including by providing their recipients with an unfair advantage to acquire companies or obtain public procurement contracts in the EU to the detriment of fair competition.
The FSR addresses such distortions and closes a regulatory gap. Prior to the FSR, subsidies granted by non-EU governments went unchecked, while subsidies granted by Member States are subject to close scrutiny under EU State aid rules. The FSR includes new tools to effectively tackle foreign subsidies that cause distortions and undermine the level playing field in the internal market.
Who's in charge?
The European Commission is the sole enforcer of the FSR.
The Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) is responsible for enforcing the FSR as regards concentrations and to start ex officio procedures to tackle the distortions on the internal market caused by foreign subsidies outside public procurement procedures. In case of questions, an email can be sent to DG COMP's Foreign Subsidies Registry functional email address: comp-fsr-registryec [dot] europa [dot] eu (comp-fsr-registry[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)
The Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) is responsible for enforcing the FSR as regards financial contributions in public procurement procedures and to start ex officio procedures to tackle the distortive effects of foreign subsidies in public procurement procedures. In case of questions regarding the application of the FSR on public procurement procedures, an email can be sent to DG GROW's functional email: grow-fsr-pp-notificationsec [dot] europa [dot] eu (grow-fsr-pp-notifications[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)