Preferential Loans in the Period of Russia‘s Aggression against Ukraine
What are the benefits?
In order to increase access to financial services and ensure liquidity of economic operators in the areas of production and processing of and trading in agricultural and fisheries products under the conditions of Russia‘s aggression against Ukraine, preferential loans are granted for the financing of working capital under the promotional financial instrument ‘Loans intended for ensuring liquidity of economic operators in the areas of production and processing of and trading in agricultural and fisheries products in response to Russia‘s aggression against Ukraine‘ (under Communication from the Commission of 24 March 2022 regarding state aid measures following the aggression against Ukraine by Russia).
Who can apply?
This financial assistance is intended for economic operators in the of production, processing and marketing of agricultural and fisheries products:
- Entities operating in rural areas having registered an agricultural holding and engaged in the primary production of agricultural products (including cooperative companies (cooperatives)), processing of such products, and sale of the products resulting from such processing;
- Recognised agricultural cooperative companies (cooperatives) having registered an agricultural holding and engaged in the processing and/or marketing of agricultural products;
- Cooperative companies (cooperatives) without the status of a recognised agricultural cooperative company (cooperative), having registered an agricultural holding and engaged in processing of and/or trade in agricultural products that have been in operation for no more than 2 years, provided that, during the four quarters preceding the date of filing of a loan application, the value of agricultural products bought from their members accounts for more than 50% of the total value of agricultural products bought over that period;
- Economic operators engaged in the production of aquaculture products, processing of such aquaculture products, and sale of products made of such products.
Economic operators meeting the criteria for the preferential loan can receive up to EUR 500,000, or up to EUR 200,000 if the loan or a part thereof is granted for the acquisition of biological assets.
Where the loan is granted for purchase of current assets, payment of wages and related taxes/contributions, or purchase of biological assets (including the cost of the loan administration fee), a limit is applied to the loan amount according to one of the following conditions:
- 15% of the beneficiary’s average annual turnover from activities eligible for support under this instrument, services characteristic of agriculture and crop processing activities during the last three full reporting periods; or
- 50% of expenses for natural gas and electricity over 12 months preceding the month in which the loan application was submitted.
Where the loan is granted for the purpose of discharging obligations to a financial institution (including the cost of the loan administration fee), the loan amount can be equal to the amount justified by the beneficiary but no more than EUR 500,000.
EUR 84 million has been allocated for this instrument, with the non-distributed amount for financial intermediaries is EUR 23 million.
Loan agreements have to be signed by 31 December 2023.
The loan repayment period does not exceed 72 months and the loan must be disbursed by 31 December 2023.
How does it work?
In determining eligibility for a preferential loan by economic operators that experienced difficulties in the period between 1 February 2022 and the application filing date due to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, one of the following criteria is assessed (Instrument Scheme, p. 6.3.):
- The value of the entity‘s quick ratio (critical liquidity ratio) (Current Assets – Inventories / Current Liabilities) is below 1;
- The value of the debt ratio (Liabilities / Assets) is above 0.6.
Until 14 September 2023, funds under this instrument are lent to economic operators engaged in dairy farming, poultry farming, pig farming and/or horticulture activities, where income from such activities in 2022 account for at least 50% of total income.
In the period from 15 September 2023 until 30 October 2023, loans are granted to economic operators that are engaged in (one of their activities is):
- poultry farming, pig farming, cattle production, sheep production and goat production;
- organic plant production.
From 1 November 2023, loans may be granted to all economic operators that meet the criteria for this instrument.
Preferential loans under this instrument are granted for the financing of the following expenses (Instrument Scheme, part 7):
1. Purchase of current assets, payment of wages and related taxes/contributions:
- wages and related taxes/contributions (for a period of max. 6 months);
- fuel and electricity for the farm’s needs;
- plant protection means;
- propagation material (field and horticultural plant seeds, propagating material and other material intended for the propagation of plants of certain plant varieties etc);
- cultivating medium and containers for plant sprouting and cultivating;
- feed and/or additives thereto;
- materials for the preparation of feed;
- veterinary facilities (veterinary biocides, veterinary tools and materials used in veterinary medicine etc.);
- Products produced by members of a cooperative and purchased by the cooperative;
2. Acquisition of biological assets.
3. Discharge of obligations to a financial institution, i. e. repayment of an earlier loan (or part thereof) or payment of the price (or part thereof) under a leasing agreement where the purpose of financing is:
- Implementation of an investment project on agricultural and aquacultural activities;
- Financing of working capital if the loan was granted before 31 December 2020 under a preferential loan instrument in the period of COVID-19 pandemic.
4. Expenses for the administration of a loan under this instrument.
Depending on the size of the beneficiary (loan recipient) and term of the loan, fixed annual interest rates are as follows:
Size of entity / Loan term
up to 12 months
from 13 to 36 months
from 37 to 72 months
Micro, small or medium*
* As defined in Annex I to Commission Regulation (EU) No 702/2014 of 25 June 2014.
Preferential loans are made to beneficiaries subject to payment of an administration fee. The fee is paid to the relevant financial intermediary. The administration fee is determined as 2% of the loan amount but at least EUR 150 and no more than EUR 2,500. Loan funds can be used for the payment of the administration fee.
A beneficiary can receive only one loan under this financial instrument. A loan repayment deferral period may be granted, up to 12 months, however, the loan repayment deadline will not be extended because of the deferral period. No security is required for preferential loans under this instrument.
Preferential loans under this financial instrument is state aid, therefore, limits per beneficiary of state aid and limits of aid intensity or aid amount are applied (Instrument Scheme, Part 10). The loan cannot be given if (Instrument Scheme, Part 9):
- The beneficiary or any of its members is subject to the EU sanctions;
- The entity has received a loan in 2022 under instrument ‘Loans for ensuring liquidity of entities operating in the areas of the production, processing and marketing of agricultural and fisheries products during the period of COVID-19 outbreak‘;
- Project implementing with the working capital financing under an instrument of the National Rural Development Programme for 2014–2020;
- Entities that had received assistance which has been recognised as unlawful and incompatible with the internal market.