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The UK Subsidy Control Act 2022 came into force 4 January 2023.

First published:
17 January 2023
Last updated:

What is subsidy control?

This new regime overlays the European Union (EU) and World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules on subsidies. It takes a principles-based approach to the delivery of subsidies by public authorities. The regime places significant subsidy control responsibilities on public authorities. This means they must award subsidies effectively and compliantly. Awards are subject to in-depth assessments, market analysis and transparency reporting (where required). This is to protect the UK’s internal market and international trade relationships.

For advice on the awarding of subsidies and the new transparency requirements, contact the Subsidy Control Unit:

Between 1 January 2021 and 3 January 2023, the UK operated under a baseline subsidy control regime consisting purely of the UK’s international obligations. These included the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, and the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Further information about the new subsidy regime:

More detailed guidance can be found in the UK subsidy control statutory guidance on GOV.UK.

What is State aid?

Generally speaking, State aid is any advantage granted by a public body through state resources on a selective basis, to any organisations that could potentially distort competition and trade in the EU. The UK is no longer a member of the EU. State aid rules still apply in certain circumstances. For example, when distributing residual EU funding, or when a subsidy comes under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Find out more about State aid.