Important Updates on De Minimis Support for Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector


The European Commission has made significant changes to the de minimis rules for businesses in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, which became effective on October 25, 2023. These changes have crucial implications for businesses in this sector.

The changes to the de minimis rules will eliminate previous discrimination and can have a substantial economic impact on businesses that were previously subject to lower support limits. With the new, higher support cap, these businesses may now access greater financial assistance. This change aims to facilitate growth and development in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, providing a boost to businesses engaged in fish processing industry activities.

Eliminating Discrimination in the Processing Industry

The Commission stresses the need to treat fish processing like other food processing industries and eliminate the current discrimination.

Treating fish processing differently from other food processing activities can disrupt the food sector. As fish processing is similar to other food processing, Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 should also apply to fish processing businesses if they meet certain conditions. This means that activities like preparing fish for sale, such as cutting, filleting, or freezing, and the first sale to resellers or processors, should not be seen as separate from processing or marketing.

For businesses involved in processing and marketing fishery and aquaculture products, this change means they will now be eligible for significantly higher support limits. The general de minimis regulation sets a support cap of up to 200,000 euros, a substantial increase from the previous 30,000 euros limit.

Implications for Businesses

The changes to the de minimis rules, will eliminate the previous discrimination in the processing industry. This change means higher support limits for businesses engaged in processing, potentially offering them substantial economic benefits.

At EFFOP, we welcome the European Commission’s decision to raise support limits for businesses involved in fish processing and bring them on level footing with other food processing industries.  As a vital element of the global industry, European fishmeal and fish oil producers play a crucial role in establishing a sustainable feed-food value chain. The Commission’s latest modifications align with our objectives and provide substantial support in achieving them.

Read more from the Commission here.