WHICH COMPANIES CAN APPLY?
The following companies can apply for a loan and grant from the Serbia SME Competitiveness Support Programme:
- SME companies, enterprises, firms, businesses, sole proprietors, or other legal entity formed under the laws of Serbia , or individuals registered as entrepreneurs or engaged in economic activities, in accordance with the laws of Serbia.
- The applicant is operating primarily in Serbia or has a fixed place of business in Serbia through which its business is wholly or partly carried out.
- The applicant has less than 250 employees and the annual turnover is NOT above EUR 50 million equivalent, and/or has an annual balance sheet that does NOT exceed EUR 43 million equivalent.
- The applicant’s business is NOT majority-owned or controlled by the government of Serbia , or by a local government body, or by any other political, governmental or administrative body, agency or Sub-division thereof. Public utilities, which are majority owned or controlled by the government of Serbia or local governments or government agencies of Serbia are NOT eligible for Sub-Loans. For the avoidance of doubt, the total percentage of ownership of a Sub-Borrower by the government or a government entity, whether legal or beneficial, direct or indirect, may not be greater than 49% and the government and/or any government entity shall not be directly or indirectly involved in the day-to-day management of the applicant’s business, or have control over directing the applicant’s affairs.
- The applicant has obtained all necessary approvals and permits and is otherwise in compliance with national environmental, social and health and safety legislation of Serbia .
- The applicant is NOT included on EBRD’s list of persons or entities ineligible to be awarded an EBRD-financed contract or for EBRD funding.
- The following companies, businesses, person or entities CANNOT apply for a loan and grant under the Serbia SME Competitiveness Support Programme:
- companies and businesses involved in production and/or trade of arms or military equipment;
- financial institutions or financial services companies;
- insurance businesses;
- companies and businesses involved in production of tobacco or hard liquor;
- companies and businesses involved in sale of tobacco or hard liquor (other than where the sale of tobacco or hard liquor is ancillary to the entity’s primary business activity);
- casinos or other gambling facilities;
- companies and businesses involved in speculative investments in property or currencies or any other speculative investment;
- companies and businesses involved in investments in securities of any kind, including investments in share capital of other companies;
- any activities appearing on the EBRD Environmental and Social Exclusion List (https://ebrdgeff.com/romania/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Environmental_and_Social_Exclusion_and_Referral_Lists.pdf)
- without the prior written consent of EBRD, any activities appearing on the on the indicative list of Category A projects included as Appendix 2 to the EBRD Environmental and Social Policy (dated May 2014 – https://www.ebrd.com/news/publications/policies/environmental-and-social-policy-esp.html); such Sub-Projects will be required to meet EBRD Performance Requirements.
WHICH PROJECT INVESTMENTS ARE ELIGIBLE?
- The investment project must be financially viable and meet the usual credit criteria of the Partner Bank in accordance with its usual credit appraisal procedures. The decision if a loan will be given or not rests with the Partner Banks of the Programme and neither EBRD, nor EU, nor the Project Consultants have any influence on the decision.
- The project is implemented in Serbia.
- It is in compliance with all applicable national environmental, social and health and safety legislation and employment regulations and standards in effect in Serbia , as well as any relevant public consultation obligations in effect in Serbia.
- The investment project has not benefitted, or will not benefit, from another grant.
To be eligible for financing under the Programme, each investment Project shall comprise:
- an investment in industrial premises, equipment, software, improvement of the enterprise management systems and or general upgrading that is designed to improve compliance with one or more of the EU Directives in the field of environmental protection, workers’ safety and product quality and safety, as listed in the Priority EU Directives, applicable to the relevant investment project; or with an EU Directive (other than a Priority EU Directive) which our technical team has confirmed that you should comply with.
In addition and where relevant, investment may be made in high performance technologies meeting the criteria for high performance technologies. Our team of experts will additionally provide guidance to you regarding the optimisation of technology choices aimed at increasing the financial viability of your investment project.
In addition to the above, the following specific eligibility criteria apply:
Second Hand Equipment
Second hand hard to justify under the Serbia SME Competitiveness Support Programme, as investments in second hand equipment bear many risks. It is recommended to focus on brand new equipment.
Financing of second hand equipment is possible if on an exceptional basis the equipment was thoroughly evaluated by our team of experts and if the following conditions are fulfilled:
- Equipment is fully reconditioned by the producer or by an authorized center
- Equipment has a guarantee of at least 6 months issued by the reconditioning company
- Fairness of the investment cost compared to a new equivalent is proven
Vehicles are eligible for a loan and grant under the Programme if they:
- are used for business purposes only
- replace old vehicles (evidence of scrapping the old vehicle must be provided)
- meet foreseen EU standards
The following detailed criteria exist for the different vehicle type, in addition to the abovementioned criteria:
- Taxi: vehicles have to be hybrid cars
- Trucks: meet at least Euro 6 norm;
- Vans: meet at least Euro 6 norm, registered by local law for goods transportation for commercial purposes and strictly for company business
- Busses: meet at least Euro 6 norm, in line with the company’s business (transport of passengers).
Second hand vehicles are not eligible.
The purchase of an industrial premises and the refurbishment of the actual premises is eligible for financing provided that the investment improves:
- Health and Safety at work
- Environmental Protection
- Product Quality and Safety
- Energy Efficiency
in accordance with EU Directives as transposed in the local laws.
Refurbishment of existing buildings or construction of new buildings is also eligible, if the same purposes and criteria as described above are met.