IMPLEMENTATION LEVEL

National

AFFECTED FLOW

Inflow

ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARY

No

NON-TRADE-RELATED RATIONALE

No

ELIGIBLE FIRMS

all

JUMBO

No

TARIFF PEAK

No
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Inception date: 01 Apr 2014 | Removal date: 31 Mar 2018
Still in force

Tax or social insurance relief

On 27 March 2014, the European Commission allowed British authorities to introduce a tax relief for certain video games. The idea behind the state aid was to "provide an incentive to video games developers to produce culturally British or European video games" (para. 5, letter from the EC to the UK, Brussels 27.3.2014).
 
Potential beneficiaries of the measure are all British video game developers producing video games with a cultural content as opposed to games that are purely for entertainment.
 
The expected budget until the end of March 2017 amounts to about EUR 208 million and is financed by HM Treasury. The assessment of British cultural games shall be conducted by the British Film Institute Certification Unit. The chosen games would then be subject to a tax relief on expenditure on goods and services used or consumed in the UK up to a value of 25%.
 
The Commission stated that "the measure is designed to reduce the production costs of the benefiting undertakings and constitutes an economic advantage for them. It is limited to companies in the video game sector and is therefore selective. Finally, it has an effect on trade and competition between Member States, as games are also produced in other Member States and traded internationally." (para. 36)
 
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory.

AFFECTED COUNTRIES

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AFFECTED SECTORS AND PRODUCTS

385 Games & toys
9504 Video game consoles and machines, articles for funfair, table or parlour games, including pintables, billiards, special tables for casino games and automatic bowling alley equipment.
950420 Articles and accessories for billiards of all kinds
950430 Other games, operated by coins, banknotes, bank cards, tokens or by any other means of payment, other than automatic bowling alley equipment
950440 Playing cards
950450 Video game consoles and machines, other than those of subheading 9504.30
950490 Other

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