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Legal insights & industry updates

| 1 minute read

New Subsidy Advice Unit opens for business

Following the full implementation of the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (the "Act") on January 4 2023 (which you can read more about here) the new Subsidy Advice Unit ("SAU") is now operational and ready to carry out its key subsidy control functions.  Established by the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") (a statutory requirement under the Act), the SAU represents just one measure of the new system of subsidy oversight and control within the UK, and becomes part of the CMA.    

Statutory Guidance accompanying the Act (published November 2022) explains that the primary role of the SAU is: 

" publish independent reports on those subsidies or schemes that have a greater potential to lead to undue distortion and negative effects on competition or investment in the UK, or on international trade or investment and to monitor and report on the subsidy control regime as a whole."  

Importantly therefore, it is not a role/function of the SAU to decide whether a subsidy can be given, nor to carry out subsidy assessments in respect of any subsidy that a public authority is considering.  Such assessments and decisions fall outside the specific referral role of the SAU, and remain the responsibility of the public authority.  

Our expert team is experienced in providing public authorities with subsidy control assessment advice and guidance, including in respect of the interpretation and application of the subsidy control principles (principles that must be considered before giving a subsidy or making a subsidy scheme).  Public authorities looking for expert assistance during the assessment of a proposed subsidy and appropriate advice thereafter, are encouraged to get in touch with one of our team.    

The Subsidy Advice Unit is ready to give advice to public authorities wishing to use subsidies to deliver important public objectives.


competition, public sector