All companies and traders active in the food chain that fall under the control of the federal food agency FASFC must pay an annual levy. This money is used to partly finance the agency’s controls.
Because the catering industry and the street food trade (door-to-door sales, market stalls…) have been severely affected by the corona crisis, the federal government asked the European Commission whether it could drop the levy for those two sectors this year.
The Commission sees no objection in this and announced this on its website on Thursday. In the current crisis, such a form of state aid is, according to Europe, ‘necessary, appropriate and proportionate’.
The fact that the levy will not be collected this year amounts to an invoice of 11 million euros that the catering and food stalls must not pay in 2020.
The Commission’s approval is tantamount to an agreement in principle, the food agency says. It is now up to the government to formalize the decision.