Effects of coronavirus outbreak on ongoing Business Partnership Support projects
28 September 2020
The effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may cause delays for the implementation of ongoing Business Partnership Support projects. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has decided to continue the duration of flexibility measures supporting the completion of projects whose period of use of funding will expire between 1 January and 1 July 2021. Earlier flexibility measures have been possible for Business Partnership Support projects that have been awarded discretionary government grants between 1 April and 31 December 2018 – read more here. A more detailed description of the flexibility measures and projects that they may concern is given below.
Projects subject to the flexibility measures:
Flexibility measures can be requested for Business Partnership Support projects whose government grant decision was dated between 1 January and 1 July 2019 and whose period of use of funding will expire between 1 January and 1 July 2021. Flexibility measures are not granted automatically to all projects, but the recipients must submit a request for a review to apply for flexibility before the expiry of the period of use of the funding. To request for a review of a discretionary government grant, the recipient must request a change of use in the Online service by collecting the project application from the Commenced cases page and clicking ‘Modification / Addition’.
If the request for a review has not been submitted before the normal period of use of funding, the support will expire. The decision is delivered to the online service within 30 days of submitting the request for a review.
For projects whose government grant decision has been made after 1 July 2019, the terms and conditions that were in force at the time of submission of the application will continue to be valid for the time being.
In case the recipient has submitted a request for a review before the expiry of the period of use of the funding, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will implement the following flexibility measures:
- The validity of the period of use of the discretionary government grant will be extended until 30 September 2021. The extension of the validity of the government grant means that the project can be continued until the request for payment, together with its appendices, is submitted to the Foreign Ministry’s e-Service no later than on 30 September 2021.
- A third request for payment is possible.
Instead of two instalments, the recipient can submit an additional request for payment. The last request for payment should be submitted by 30 September 2021 at the latest.
- A part of the work to be done in the target country can be replaced by work done in Finland also as concerns work of the project’s own staff as far as this is appropriate for the implementation of the project. A project’s eligibility for funding is assessed case by case when the request for a review or payment is processed.
Note: the request for a review must include a plan or a report on how the work in the project’s target country will be or has been substituted by work in Finland. The request for a review must be submitted together with the request for payment at the latest or, in case other flexibility measures are also applied for, before the normal due date of the government grant. It is important to note that Business Partnership Support cannot be applied for such work to be done in the target country as has already been done in Finland, provided that it would be similar in content.
In other respects, the projects are subject to the terms and conditions that were in force when the application was submitted.
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