BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — The European Commission on Dec. 18 adopted a regulation aimed at raising the ceiling and clarifying the definition of small amounts of aid (de minimis aid) that can be considered not to constitute state aid.

“This new regulation will give member states more room for maneuver to grant aid without distorting competition, particularly in the event of emergencies, and allow the commission to simplify dealing with national aid in the agricultural sector,” said Dacian Ciolo?, commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

At present, under Regulation (EC) No 1535/2007, aid in the agriculture sector that does not exceed €7,500 per beneficiary over a period of three years or 0.75% of the value of agricultural output established for each member state is deemed not to distort or threaten to distort competition.

The new regulation, which will apply from Jan. 1, 2014, will bring the amount per beneficiary to €15,000 over a period of three years, and the ceiling per member state to 1% of the value of agricultural production. Furthermore, it more clearly defines the types of aid that can be covered by its scope.