Businesses that are eligible for financing, regardless of legal form, are those which meet specific eligibility criteria, including the following:
Recently set up, new and existing Micro, Small or Medium Enterprises (SMEs), or Small Midcaps). In particular:
- Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) include businesses with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of not more than EUR 50 million or a total annual balance sheet of not more than EUR 43 million, according to the Recommendation Commission 2003/361 / EC.
Furthermore, concerning SMEs: a) "Microenterprises" (including self-employed persons) are businesses that employ less than ten (10) employees and have an annual turnover or total annual balance sheet not exceeding EUR 2 million, and b) "Small enterprises" (including self-employed persons) are businesses that employ less than fifty (50) employees and have an annual turnover or total annual balance sheet not exceeding EUR 10 million.
- Small Midcaps are businesses that are not SMEs, and that employ up to 499 staff in terms of Annual Work Units (AWU), as per Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC
They do not constitute an "Undertaking in Difficulty" (within the meaning of article 2 paragraph 18 of the 651/2014 General Exemption Regulation, article 2 par. 14 of the Agricultural Exemption Regulation, or article 3 par. 5 of the Fisheries Exemption Regulation) in the sense that:
- either A) they are not an Undertaking in Difficulty at the time of signing the financing contract under this program,
- or B) they are Undertaking in Difficulty at the time of signature of the financing agreement under this program but were not Undertakings in difficulty on 31.12.2019, unless they are Micro or Small Firms which were Undertakings in difficulty on 31.12.2019 but, at the time of signature of the financing agreement under this program
- are not subject to collective insolvency proceedings under national law, and
- where they have received rescue aid,
- it has nevertheless been repaid (in the case of aid in the form of a loan) or has expired (in the case of aid in the form of a guarantee) at the time of signature of the financing agreement under this program; or
- where they have received restructuring aid, at the time of signature of the financing agreement under this program they are no longer subject to a restructuring plan.
- They are not essentially active in one or more Excluded Sectors of the EIB Group, as set out below (the European Investment Bank/EIB and the EIF are jointly referred to as the "EIB Group")
- It is not active in the financial sector.
- If the business is active in the primary agricultural sector, processing, and marketing agricultural products, and fishery or aquacultural sectors, additional criteria should be met.
- They have not violated any restrictive measures (as set out below).
- The persons responsible for the representation, decision-making, and control of the business should not have been sanctioned.
- They should not be in "Exclusion Status."
- they should not have declared bankruptcy, be under liquidation or compulsory administration, have entered into an out-of-court settlement with their lenders, or suspended/ interrupted their business activities, or be subject to conciliation with their lenders, or under any other situation or procedure similar to the foregoing provided for by national laws and regulations;
- during the last five (5) years, they should not have been convicted by a final court judgment or administrative decision of having failed to meet their obligations in respect of taxes due to the Greek state or contributions to social security funds under applicable law unless such liabilities have been paid or a binding arrangement has been made for their payment;
- during the last five (5) years, the business or any person authorized for the business's representation, decision-making, and control, should not have been convicted, as per a final, irrevocable judicial or administrative decision, for committing a serious professional act of misconduct, willfully or out of gross negligence, which would affect the ability of the business to be financed and which conviction refers to any of the following cases:
- cases of wilful misconduct or gross negligence in providing false information in the context of the obligation to submit the necessary information to verify the absence of grounds for exclusion or fulfillment of the eligibility or selection criteria or in the context of enforcing a legal commitment/agreement
- concluding an agreement with other persons or businesses with a view to distorting competition
- an attempt to influence the decisions of the contracting authority during the award procedure, as defined in Article 2 of the Financial Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of July 18, 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, as applicable from time to time (hereinafter "Financial Regulation")
- attempt to obtain confidential information that may result in an unfair advantage in the award procedure, as defined in Article 2 of the Financial Regulation
- during the last five (5) years, and based on a final judicial or administrative decision, the business or the persons authorized for the business's representation, decision-making, and control should not have committed any of the following acts:
- participation in criminal organizations
- money laundering or financing of terrorism
- terrorist crimes or crimes related to terrorist activities, or incitement, complicity, incitement, or attempt to commit the above crimes
- child labor or other criminal acts related to human trafficking
- the Borrower's business is not included in the published list of economic operators excluded or subject to a financial penalty of the EU EDES database, which is managed by the European Commission
- They are not engaged in "Illegal Activities" (as set out hereinbelow).
- They have not benefited from state aid, which has been declared illegal or incompatible with a Commission decision and which has not yet been repaid.
- Their outstanding debts deriving from any financing agreement entered with the Bank or another Credit Institution should not be more than 20 days past due (to this effect, the business submits a relevant solemn declaration and the bank conducts reasonable controls in line with its standard policies).
- They should not be located in a "non-compliant jurisdiction".
"Illegal Activity" means any of the following illegal activities or activities carried out for illegal purposes, under applicable law, in any of the following areas: (i) fraud, corruption, coercion, collusion or obstruction; (ii) money laundering, terrorist financing or fiscal offenses as defined in the Anti-Money Laundering directives; and (iii) fraud and other illegal activities against the financial interests of the EIB, EIF, and EU, as defined in the PIF Directive (Directive EU 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council of July 5, 2017, on combating, through criminal law, fraud against the financial interests of the Union, as amended and in force).
"Restrictive Measures" are:
- any restrictive measures adopted as per provisions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union, and/ or
- any financial sanctions adopted from time to time by the United Nations and any organization or person legally designated or authorized by the United Nations to adopt, administer, implement and/or enforce such measures, and/or
- any financial sanctions adopted from time to time by the United States Government and any department, service or office thereof, including the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), the
US Department of the Treasury, the US Department of State and/or the US Department of Commerce.
"Sanctioned person" is any person or entity, individual or group of individuals, which is the subject of Sanctions or against whom Sanctions have been imposed.
"Non-compliant jurisdiction" is the jurisdiction which:
- is listed in Annex I to the European Council conclusions on the revised list of non-cooperating EU jurisdictions for tax purposes;
- it is included in the list of OECD/G20 jurisdictions that have not satisfactorily implemented tax transparency standards;
(c) listed in the Annex to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1675 of 14 July 2016 supplementing Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council, which identifies high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies;
- is included in the Annex of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1675 of July 14, 2016, on "Supplementing Directive 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council which lists high-risk third countries characterized by strategic deficiencies",
- rated as "partially compliant" or "non-compliant", including the respective interim ratings, by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, in accordance with the international standard for exchange of information on request;
- is included in the Economic Action Group's statement "High-risk jurisdictions subject to a call for action"; or
- is included in the Economic Task Force declaration 'Jurisdictions under increased monitoring';
- is included in the Economic Task Force declaration 'Jurisdictions under increased monitoring';
as the above annexes, lists, lists, declarations, instructions, etc., specifying the criteria for their designation may be amended and/or supplemented from time to time.
"Excluded Sectors of the EIB Group":
- Production or activities involving harmful or exploitative forms of forced labour/harmful child labour,
- Production or marketing of any product or activity considered illegal under the laws or regulations of the Member State where the business is established or international agreements and covenants,
- Any business related to pornography or prostitution,
- Production or trade of wild animals or wildlife products governed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),
- Production or use, or marketing of hazardous materials such as radioactive materials (except medical isotopes and materials for diagnosis and treatment in healthcare), irregular asbestos fibers and products containing PCBs,
- Cross-border trade in waste and waste products, unless it complies with the Basel Convention and key national and EU regulations, without excluding the use of waste as fuel for district heating purposes,
- Unsustainable fishing methods (i.e., drift fishing in the marine environment using nets longer than 2.5 km and explosion fishing),
- Manufacture or trade of medicinal products, pesticides/herbicides, chemicals, ozone-depleting substances, and other dangerous substances subject to international phasing out or prohibition,
- Destruction of critical habitats,
- Production and distribution of racist, anti-democratic and/or neo-Nazi media,
- Tobacco, if it is an essential part (over 10%) of primary funded business activities of an investment project or the business's turnover,
- Live animals for scientific and experimental purposes, including their breeding, unless the activity in question complies with Directive 2010/63/EU, as amended by Regulation (EU) 2019/1010 of the European Parliament and of the Council for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes,
- Ammunition and weapons, military/police equipment, infrastructure or penitentiary facilities, prisons,
- Gambling, casinos, and equivalent enterprises or hotels hosting such facilities,
- Commercial concessions and logging in tropical natural forests, Conversion of natural forest into plantation,
- Purchase of logging equipment for use in tropical natural forests or forests of high environmental value in all areas and activities leading to clear felling and/or degradation of tropical natural forests or high nature-value forests,
- New palm oil plantations,
- Any business with political or religious content.