The difference between off-the-shelf & tailor-made instruments

Published on 16 July 2015

Amongst the new opportunities to ease the delivery of ESI Funds to the final recipients, there are the so-called off-the-shelf instruments providing standard terms and conditions, which are compatible with ESI Funds regulation and State Aid rules and seek to combine public and private resources.

The Financial Instruments most commonly supported by ERDF in 2007-2013 and reflecting market practice have served as the basis for developing off-the-shelf instruments. For example, Lithuania's large-scale program to improve home energy efficiency based on a combination of grants, technical assistance and loans became the inspiration for the “Renovation Loan”, a new off-the-shelf instrument under the 2014-2020 programming period.

The other off-the-shelf Financial Instruments are the risk-sharing loan and the capped guarantee for SMEs. In addition, two more off-the-shelf Financial Instruments for equity investments for SMEs and urban development are currently under preparation. Further off-the-shelf Financial Instruments may be developed by the European Commission if the need arises.

The choice to use an off-the-shelf Financial Instrument, as for any other Financial Instrument, should be made in relation to relevant thematic objectives and/or investment priorities of the programme and the need for such specific Financial Instruments should be identified in the ex-ante assessment.

Link to the implementing regulation (EU) No 964/2014