As a general rule, a grant may not finance the entire cost of the action or the entire operating expenditure of a beneficiary body, with the following exceptions.
The contracting authority must be in a position to show that financing in full is essential to carry out the action in question and must substantiate its award decision accordingly. Prior approval by the European Commission must be sought before any decision is made.
For instance, the financing of an action in full may be authorised in the following cases, save where prohibited by the basic act:
Humanitarian aid, including assistance for refugees, uprooted persons, rehabilitation and mine clearance;
- Action resulting from the implementation of financing agreements or action with international organisations.
The co-financing may take the form of the beneficiary's own resources (self-financing), income generated by the action and financial or in-kind contributions from third parties.
The contracting authority may accept contributions in-kind as co-financing, if considered necessary or appropriate. Co-financing in kind means the provision of goods or services to the grant beneficiary free of charge by a third party. Therefore, contributions in kind do not involve any expenditure for the grant beneficiary11. For the purpose of the no-profit rule (see 6.3.10.) in kind contributions are not taken into account.
If contributions in kind are accepted as co-financing, the beneficiary(ies) shall ensure they comply with national tax and social security rules.
The beneficiary has to declare the co-financing actually provided in the final report. The beneficiary(ies) may at that point replace any planned contribution from its own resources by financial contributions from third parties.
For low value grants (i.e. any grant up to EUR 60.000) refusal of co-financing in kind - if proposed but not considered appropriate or necessary - should be clearly justified.
11Nevertheless, actual costs generated by the acceptance, distribution, warehousing etc. of in kind contributions may be eligible for funding if complying with article 14 of the General Conditions.