FAQ BSB JOP 2014-2020 - 1st Call for Proposals
This page contains answers to questions submitted by interested ENI CBC Black Sea Basin Program applicants, beneficiaries and controllers. The questions and answers are organized by topic of interest and are updated on a regular basis, as we collect new questions. To preview the questions, click on the topic of interest.
According to Guidelines for grant applicants, Section 3.4 – DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF THE APPLICATIONS: The deadline for the submission of Applications is 24:00 hrs. Bucharest time, 31st of May 2017.However, please note that the eMS system does not allow submission of applications after 23:59:00 hrs.
In order to upload a project idea on our website, we recommend you to create an account on www.blacksea-cbc.net, and after that to go to Section „Project Ideas Search” where you have the opportunity to upload a project idea.Also if you access “Partner Search” section on the website, you can add your organization and contact details so that potential beneficiaries that are looking for partners to be able to contact you.
On the Programme’s website www.blacksea-cbc.net, on the right side of the page you can find „Other Info” link with „Partner search” option. Here is where people can find you regardless you posted a project idea or not. Also, it is here is where you can find partners that have or have not posted a project idea.
Applicants have to complete and submit their applications electronically via the electronic monitoring system of the programme (e-MS) – http://ems-bs.mdrap.ro
All Applications should be solely submitted through the electronic Monitoring system (eMS) of the Programme. The eMS does not allow submission of any Application after the deadline.
Any Application submitted by mail / postal services or courier shall not be taken into consideration unless otherwise instructed by the Managing Authority.
The applications will be submitted in one phase only.
No limit for the number of members is defined. Please carefully define the structure of your management team in order to ensure the necessary staff that can develop all project activities as the staff allocated by the Lead Partner and Project Partners will be assessed during Evaluation and Selection process, being an important aspect scored as it is provided in Annex 09 – Quality assessment grid, Operational assessment criteria.
Financial capacity has to be proven by all partners. In order to prove their capacity to ensure their own contribution to the eligible expenditure and ensure the temporary availability of funds, Partners will submit the latest annual accounts (184.108.40.206, Section G – Attachments from the Guidelines) together with the application. Also, partners have the obligation to submit Annex 2 – Declaration by the Project Partner, by which they assume their own responsibility for all aspects provided in the Declaration.
The Guidelines for Grant Applicants does not provide restrictions with regard to the procedure to be followed for the ellaboration of the feasibility study. In any case, the procedure (in-house or contracted) has to observe all provisions of national legislation in the field and of the Guidelines for Grant Applicants.
The costs related to this service should observe all eligibility conditions mentioned in section 2.4.3 – Type of costs/expenditure of the Guidelines for Applicants.
Each applicant have to submit a Declaration – Annex 1 or 2 to the Guidelines (as applicable), in which they should fill in the financial information related to their turnover or equivalent financial data for up to the last 3 years, as aplicable. If the information related to 2016 are available, then the applicant will fill in the financial information for 2016 and if available for 2014 and 2015.
Only the latest available annual accounts (2016 or 2015, as available) shall be submitted with the application.
Eligibility of Applicants and Partners
According to the Guidelines for Grant Applicants, Section 2.4 – Eligibility criteria, (2) – Geographical location: „The project Lead Partner may be from any of the participating countries.”
In accordance with the provisions of the Guidelines for Grant Applicants Section 2.4 – Eligibility criteria – 2.4.1 Applicants – (4) Partnership, a Lead Partner/Project partner – may be partner in other applications. There is no limitation for an organization as being a partner. However, any organization has to take into consideration the requirements regarding the professional and financial capacity.
The Section 2.4 of the Guidelines for Grant Applicants establishes a set of requirements in order for the Lead Partners and Project Partners to be eligible for a grant. These requirements are related to the legal status, geographical location, professional and financial situation and partnership of the applicants.
For this call for proposals, associate partners are not eligible entities.
According to section 2.4.1 Applicants – (2) Geographical location, of the Guidelines for grant applicants, eligible applicants have to be a legal entity effectively established (registered and located) in the eligible area of the programme.If an organization has offices that are legal entities effectively established (registered and located) in the eligible area, then they are eligible, even though the central office is outside of the eligible area. If these offices have not a legal personality, then these entities/offices are not eligible. However, please note that the eligibility of the applicants will be assessed and decided during the administrative and eligibility check by the assessors.
Please have in mind that, compared to BSB JOP 2007-2013, legal entities established outside programme area are not eligible under any circumstances.By “effectively established”, potential applicants should understand that their office has legal personality in the eligible area, which shall be assessed during the administrative and eligibility check based on the documents required in section 220.127.116.11 – Attachments from the Guidelines. One of the documents that each applicant has to submit is the Registration act from the national Register(s) of organizations. In this regard, in accordance with the Section 4.1 – EVALUATION AND SELECTION PROCESS, sub-section 1.2 – Eligibility check: „If the examination of the Applications reveals that the proposed project does not meet the eligibility criteria described under items 1-3 and 8-14, the Applications shall be rejected on this sole basis.” Item 3 from the Annex 8 of the Guidelines – Administrative compliance and eligibility check specifies that: „All annexes and all supporting documents are enclosed.”
According to the Guidelines for Grant Applicants, Section 1.2 – Background: „The Programme eligible area involves eight countries, some of them including their whole national territory (Armenia, Georgia and R. Moldova), while the others include those regions closest to the Black Sea Basin (Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine).
Also, Section 2.4.1 – Applicants, (2) Geographical location – of the Guidelines for Grant Applicants, provides information about the entire eligible area of the programme.
According to the Guidelines for Grant Applicants, Section 3.3 Drafting the application, 18.104.22.168 section B – Project partners, Experiences of Partner: “The following aspects should be described: – information on activities carried out by the organisation in its daily business, specifying which type of activities, if the case; – information on the organisation’s thematic competences and experiences relevant for the project”.
Also, in order to analyse your professional and financial situation, please read carefully, the Quality assessment grid (award criteria) – Annex 9 of the Guidelines, section 5 – “Partnership capacity (to what extent has the partnership the experience and capacity to implement the project?)”.
According to Section 2.4.1 – Eligibility criteria, (7) Ineligible Applicants of the Guidelines for Grant Applicants: “Profit making entities from the public or private sector” are not eligible.
It will not be enough for the main company to prove its experience in the field its local office applies.
Each applicant/partner has to be a “legal entity effectively established (registered and located) in the eligible area of the programme”, has to demonstrate its experience in the field it applies and has the obligation to provide the information requested in section 22.214.171.124 of the Guidelines for Grant Applicants.
The eligibility check will be carried out according to the criteria set out in Section B of the Administrative Compliance and Eligibility Check Grid (Annex 8 of the Guidelines) and based on the supporting documents listed under Section 126.96.36.199 of the Guidelines, which will be submitted together with the Applications. In order to demonstrate the eligibility, each partner have to submit together with the Application the documents mentioned at points 2 and 3 from Section 188.8.131.52, namely Statutes/ Articles of Association/Deed of Foundation or other applicable documents for proving Lead Partner’s and each project partner’s eligibility and Registration Acts.
These documents will provide the necessary information to the assessors in order to evaluate if eligibility criterion is met.
Eligibility of Costs
According to Guidelines for grant applicants, Section 2.3 – Indicative Allocation for this Call for Proposals: The national co-financing may take the following forms:
- Beneficiary’s own resources;
- Financial contributions by third parties, from sources other than the European Union. The rate of national co-financing shall be at least 8% of the total eligible costs of the Project, calculated per Lead/Project partner budgets in the project.
Each participating country shall decide on its own co-financing system (from national/ regional/local level or directly from the Beneficiary, or both from the national/regional/local level and from the Beneficiary itself). No resources from other EU Assistance may be taken into account as co-financing.
We recommend each applicant to contact the National Authority of their country related to this issue.
According to Guidelines for grant applicants, Section 2.4.4 – Revenue: Grants shall not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit within the framework of the project. In case the project generates revenue, this may be used for covering project expenditure. If at the final balance there is a surplus of the revenue, this shall be reduced from the total eligible costs of the project. During project implementation, each beneficiary which generates revenue under the project, should keep detailed, timely, adequate and traceable information concerning the generated revenues.
Small scale investments are eligible up to maximum 500,000.00 EUR per project according to the Guidelines for grant applicants, Section 2.4.3 – Type of costs/expenditure. Information on eligibility criteria and an indicative list of eligible activities and costs that can be budgeted under the budget line 5: Infrastructure and works (small scale investments), are provided in the Guidelines. Also, please have in mind that: “Small scale investments have to be duly specified in the application to allow for a detailed presentation and evaluation of costs by describing at least the nature and quantity of each small-scale investment foreseen, the link with the relevant output as listed in the work plan and the related budget of the concerned partner. The costs for small scale investments, not explicitly mentioned in the Application will not be eligible.”
In accordance with Section 2.4.3 – Type of costs/expenditure, (5) Ineligible costs: purchases of land or buildings are not eligible.
Also, please take into account that the types of eligible and ineligible costs applicable for small scale investment projects are presented in detail in the Annex no.6 of the Guidelines.
Although employed staff or external experts, if the case, may perform the same type of tasks related to the project management and/or implementation, the costs for their involvement shall be budgeted from different budget lines, namely:
- Budget line Staff costs – for staff already employed or employed specifically for the project by the beneficiary under an employment document;
- Budget line External expertise and services – for external experts contracted for project management under a service contract (for more information regarding other type of costs included under this budget line, please see Budget Line 3 – External expertise and services)
With regard to the project management consulting services, according to Guidelines for grant applicants, Section 2.4.3 – Type of costs/expenditure: „Where the Lead Beneficiary and/or beneficiaries do(es) not have the adequate professionals to perform some of the tasks related to the Project, external experts may be contracted for these tasks. These costs shall be budgeted under the budget line “External expertise and services”.
Also, please have in mind, that the staff allocated by the lead partner and by the project partners for the management and coordination of project activities will be assessed during the Evaluation and selection process (see annex 09 – Quality Assessment Grid from the Guidelines, Operational assessment criteria).
According to Section 2.4.3 – Type of costs/expenditure, (2) Eligible direct costs have to meet several criteria including the following: a) they are incurred during the implementation of the Project, in particular: – costs relating to services and works shall relate to activities performed during the implementation period.
Notwithstanding the paragraph above, costs related to studies and documentation for projects including an infrastructure component, which are required during the evaluation stage (see section 2.4.3. Type of costs/expenditure –(6) Budget line specifications) are eligible even if they are incurred during the project preparation period which starts after the approval date of the Programme, respectively 18 December 2015.
In order to ensure that the Lead Partner and Project Partners have adequate financial capacity to implement the project and are treated equally as regards of their financial inputs – all partners shall be requested to provide the same percentage of co-financing (at least 8%).
According to Section…. Of the Guidelines for Grant Applicants, staff costs, expenses, covering internal management or internal expertise, are eligible provided that they are paid for employees who are directly employed by the concerned beneficiary and who execute project related tasks. Staff can either be already employed or be employed afterwards, specifically for the project by the beneficiary. Expenditures on staff costs shall be limited to the following:
a) salary payments related to the activities which the entity would not carry out if the activities concerned were not undertaken, fixed in an employment/work contract, an appointment decision (both hereinafter referred to as “employment document”), or, by law;
b) any other costs directly linked to salary payments incurred and paid by the employer, such as employment taxes and social security payments, provided that they are: (i) fixed in an employment document or by law; (ii) in accordance with the legislation referred to in the employment document and with standard practices in the country and/or organization where the individual staff member is actually working; and (iii) not recoverable by the employer.
These expenditures will be budgeted under budget line 1 – Staff costs.
In accordance with Guidelines for grant applicants, Section 2.4.3 – Type of costs/expenditure, Budget line 3 – External expertise and services, costs for expenditure verification are eligible under these conditions:
– For the Romanian Lead Beneficiaries/beneficiaries the costs for expenditure verification are not eligible from the budget of the Project, since the expenditure shall be examined free of cost by public officers of the Control Contact Point, established within the Ministry of Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds, Romania;- For the Bulgarian Lead Beneficiaries/beneficiaries the costs for expenditure verification are eligible and shall be covered under this budget line. The expenditure verification costs are paid according to a contract between the project partner and controller which determines the exact remuneration payable by the partner to the controller for the control exercised for each specific project (BGN 2 400= EUR 1 227.12 per year/ 200.00 leva (102.26 euro) per month (including travel and accommodation costs and social insurance paid by the respective Bulgarian project partner). The procedure for nomination and designation of controllers for performance of expenditure verification of the Bulgarian beneficiaries in projects is executed by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works after each Bulgarian beneficiary submit to the DG TCM a “Request for Nomination of Controller” at the end (or 15 days after the end) of every reporting period.
For Lead Beneficiaries/beneficiaries from all other countries (Armenia, Greece, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Turkey) it is compulsory to include in the budget certain amounts to be used for covering expenditure verification costs by external auditors.
According to Annex 6 – Costs estimation small scale investments, Chapter 1, 1.1 – Land acquisition is an ineligible cost (N).
Related to renting costs, in Section 2.4.3 – Type of costs/expenditure, Budget line 6, only Office rent are eligible cost and shall be included in Office and administration costs.
Costs for renting a space and/or purchasing building (e.g. for an observation, visitor and information centre) or land are not eligible. (see Section 2.4.3 – Type of costs/expenditures, (5) Ineligible costs from the Guidelines).
Staff costs related to elaboration of studies and documentation for projects including an infrastructure component can be included in the project budget even if they are incurred during the project preparation period.
The eligibility of these costs will be analysed in relation to the following aspects:
– they are in accordance with the provisions of art. 48.2 b-g of the EU Implementing Regulation 897/2014 and described in Section 2.4.3 – Type of costs/expenditure, (2) – Eligible direct costs, letters: b, c, d, e, f, g ( e.g they are justified with payrolls, there is a decision of the management of the institution to appoint the respective staff to elaborate the study/document, labour contract, job description, timesheet,etc);- all provisions of article 48.5 of the Implementing regulation no.897/2014 regarding cost of staff assigned to the Project are closely observed and demonstrated (ex. the cost of staff assigned to the project relate to the costs of activities which the Lead beneficiary/beneficiaries would not carry out if the project was not undertaken, level of salaries to be those normally borne by the organisation for the respective activity, cost relate to actual gross salaries)- they are in line with national legislation regarding the elaboration of studies and documentation related to infrastructure and works.- the respective applicant (organisation) has competences related to the elaboration of feasibility studies/technical documentation for infrastructure works;- the organisation specifies in the Application that the elaboration of feasibility studies/technical documentation was made with its own staff (after the date of 18 December 2015).These costs will be included in Budget line 5 – Infrastructure and works, under Group of Activities – Investment, should be reflected in Annex 6 Cost estimation small scale investment and shall be included in the total amount of 500.000 Euro/project.
Eligibility of Partnership
In accordance with the Guidelines for Grant Applicants, Section 2.4.1 – Applicants: the number of partners in a project, including the Lead Partner is minimum 3 and Maximum 6. The partners must be from at least three countries fulfilling the eligibility criteria specified in the aforementioned section.
In accordance with the Guidelines for Grant Applicants, Section 2.4.1 – Applicants, (4) Partnerships: “A Lead Partner may submit more than one application under this Call for Proposals; A Lead Partner may not be awarded more than two grants under this Call for Proposals, one grant per each Specific Objective.”
Changing the lead applicant or the lead beneficiary (during implementation), is not possible under any circumstances.
In accordance with the Guidelines for Grant Applicants, Section 4.1 – Evaluation and selection process, Step 2 – Quality Assessment: „In case there are two applications of the same Lead Partner under the same Specific Objective, scored and ranked in positions for financing, the Selection Committee will propose for financing the application with the highest score.”
Indeed, the system delivers the message „limit reached” only for some sections. However, the system counts the number of characters introduces in all sections and displays the number of remaining characters. Therefore, please pay attention to this aspect when filling in the application.
According to the information provided in Table 1 – Project intervention logic glossary of Section 3323, “Not all project outputs can be captured by a programme output indicator. Therefore, only those outputs which could directly contribute to the achievement of the project result and be linked to a programme output indicator should be added”. Taking into account that there will be no direct link between any output of the Management Group of Activities (GoA) and the programme outputs, we decided to allow for this GoA adding only deliverables which shall be monitored during the implementation