CCCEU holds training on the implementation of the EU's Foreign Subsidies Regulation

CCCEU| Updated: Mar 3, 2023

The Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR), one of the EU's unilateral tools that many Chinese businesses in Europe are concerned about, has already entered into force and will officially apply in July. The CCCEU held an online training for members and other stakeholders on February 27, 2023, during which legal experts were invited to explain the FSR and the implementation draft recently issued by the European Commission, as well as provide in-depth views on issues of concern. Mr. Dong Kui, Secretary General of the CCCEU, hosted the webinar.


Mr. Dong Kui, Secretary General of the CCCEU, hosted the webinar on Feb. 27. (Photo/CCCEU)

 Anastasios Tomtsis, a partner at global law firm Clifford Chance, and Bao Yongqing, a senior associate at Steptoe & Johnson, were invited to speak about the FSR implementation and offer advice to Chinese businesses. Around 100 representatives signed up for the training, including policymakers, business executives, and experts from China, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, and other countries.

In his keynote speech, Mr. Anastasios Tomtsis briefly reviewed the legislative progress of the FSR, highlighting how the FSR affects compliance, information disclosure, approval time, and transaction certainty when Chinese enterprises participate in mergers, acquisitions, and public procurement in the EU.


Mr. Anastasios Tomtsis, a partner of Clifford Chance, gave a speech, Feb. 27, 2023. (Photo/CCCEU)

To deal with the FSR more effectively, he advised affected businesses to plan ahead of time, including by considering forming a team to collect relevant information, considering whether the notification threshold has been met in transactions, prioritising potential third-country subsidies likely to be identified as distorting the internal market, and collecting the positive effects of the transaction based on the EU's main policy objectives.

Mr. Bao Yongqing examined the possible consequences of the FSR and the implementation draft. He believed that the implementation draft narrowed the scope of the declaration to some extent, but that the details were still incomplete and insufficient.


Mr. Bao Yongqing, a senior associate at Steptoe & Johnson, made a speech, Feb. 27, 2023. (Photo/CCCEU)

Mr. Bao advised Chinese businesses to actively submit feedback in order to have their voices heard, to thoroughly investigate their turnover as well as the forms and amounts of subsidies based on the business plan, and to contact the European Commission as soon as possible in order to have good communication on reducing the reporting obligation and improving the possibility of transaction approval.

During the Q&A, the two legal experts addressed participant questions about the retroactive period, state-owned enterprises, ex officio investigations, and foreign-funded entities.

After this training, the CCCEU will keep in touch with members, collect comments on the implementation draft of the FSR, and submit feedback to the European Commission.