The expenses for a “pilot” production are not eligible.
Cultural criteria are determined according to Law No. 4487/2017 of the Greek state and their fulfillment is an essential condition for an application to be either accepted or rejected.
The Implementing Body of the Investment Plan fills in all cultural criteria categories and proceeds with a substantiated self-assessment for each cultural criterion. Following the evaluation of the application for inclusion, the competent Committee for the Control of Legality and Evaluation of EKOME either accepts the score of the cultural criteria or changes it accordingly.
Eligible expenses are the ones incurred in the Greek territory which shall not exceed 80% of the total budget of the audiovisual work.
The form of eligible expenses is defined explicitly in Annex 2 of the Joint Ministerial Decision 923/23-3-2018 Joint Ministerial Decision 128/11-12-2018. (invoices, payrolls, labour stamps, Analytical Periodic Statement – Insurance Fee). Eligible expenses are only those directly connected with the audiovisual work and have the work’s title on the legal documents that are submitted.
Investment plans have the right and the obligation to conclude within three (3) years from the date of application submission for the cash rebate.
For application submission a fee is required amounting to 0.0005 of the total amount of the estimated eligible costs. This amount may be no less than one hundred fifty (€ 150) to five hundred euros (€ 500) and no more than one thousand five hundred (€ 1,500) to two thousand five hundred euros (€ 2,500) according to case, following the Joint Ministerial Decision 149/2020 (Art 4, par. 8-11).
For the submission of a request for a modification of the qualification decision, the payment of a fee is also required, the amount of which is set at 0,0002 of the eligible costs of the investment plan as defined in the qualification decision. This amount may be no less than two hundred euros (€ 200) and no more than one thousand euros (€ 1,000).
Eligible for inclusion to the cash rebate scheme for audiovisual works production supports feature films, documentaries, television series, animated films, and digital games.
The rebate does not apply to music concerts, recorded performances, sports events and shows, reality shows, recorded events, commercials, infotainment shows etc.
Eligible to apply for the Greek cash rebate are the following phases of an audiovisual production:
- The production phase
- The production and post-production phase
The post-production phase
Eligible are all pre-production expenses incurred after the application submission.
If the expenses incurred are less than the approved ones, the investment plan will receive a smaller amount of state aid from EKOME.
A necessary condition is that the eligible expenses incurred correspond to no less than 60% of the budget approved by the inclusion decision published in the Government Gazette. If the investment plan has implemented less than 60% of its approved expenses, it loses any right to receive state aid from EKOME.
Above the line expenses (copyright, screenwriting fees, production, music, direction, two leading roles) are eligible up to 25% of the total amount of eligible costs of the audiovisual project.
Please note that the expenses are eligible only when the payment of insurance fees and the relevant taxes in the Greek territory is proven by legal documents.
Expenses paid to alien cast and crew are considered as eligible only when they are subject to taxation and insurance fees in Greece and they have a valid contract with a Greek production or production service company.
Travel expenses are eligible when the fares have been issued by a travel company subject to taxation and insurance fees in the Greek territory which issues the relevant legal documents.
Eligible expenses are those incurred in the Greek territory and have relevant purchase or rental documents issued by companies based and taxed in Greece.
The expenses for a “pilot” production are not eligible.
Marketing, promotion, and communication expenses, which are costs of promoting rather than producing an audiovisual project, are not included in the total eligible production expenses.
According to EU regulations, the sum of state aid for an audiovisual work in any EU member-state shall not exceed
Α) 50% of the total budget
If, for example, the total budget of an investment plan is € 1,000,000 and it has already been subsidized by the Greek Film Centre with € 200,000, by CNC with € 200,000 and by ZDF with € 100,000, it has received a total of € 500,000 state aid, which equals 50% of the total budget. This production is not eligible for inclusion in the Greek cash rebate because if it receives state aid from EKOME the total amount of state aid will exceed 50% of the total production budget.
Β) in case of a cross-border production, 60% of the total budget (including the state aid by ΕΚΟΜΕ).
Γ) in case of a “difficult” work, 80% of the total budget (including the state aid by ΕΚΟΜΕ).
A cross-border production is one that has been subsidized by more than one European state members and is produced by production companies from more than one of the European state-members.
A “difficult” audiovisual work is a single audiovisual work facing difficulties and production and promotion and fulfills the following requirements:
α) its sole prototype is in the Greek language
β) it is the first and/or the second work of a director, or the first and/or the second work of a producer
γ) has a budget of up to € 500,000
There is a specific category of cultural criteria (Table E, included in the Joint Ministerial Decision on the investment incentive), that specifies when an audiovisual work may be termed as "difficult", with a substantiated self-assessment by the Implementing Body Following which is afterwards evaluated by the competent Committee for the Control of Legality and Evaluation of EKOME.
A newly established production company may apply for state aid with the obligation to submit financial information for the period since its establishment. Companies under incorporation and consortiums also have the right to apply for the state aid.
The maximum eligible fee is set at 10% of the total eligible budget.
There is no limit to the number of shooting days.
The investment incentive (cash rebate) is a state aid given after the completion of the production of audiovisual works, when the costs of the investment plan have been audited. The rebate amounts to 40% of the eligible costs incurred in Greece.
It is underlined that the amount of the state aid implemented by EKOME is not allotted in part during the production, nor in advance before the start of the production, but after the production has been completed.
(i) Companies founded in Greece operating to produce or offer production services for audiovisual projects (with business activity codes 59.11 or 59.12 or 62.01.21)
(ii) Foreign audiovisual production companies with a branch in the Greek territory operating to produce audiovisual projects (with business activity codes 59.11 or 59.12 or 62.01.21).
In the case of cross-border productions, applications for cash rebates may be submitted only by producers established or having a branch in the Greek territory.
Implementing body of the investment incentive plan is the producer or executive producer that submits an application to EKOME through the www.ependyseis.gr platform.
In case of the executive producer, a written authorization is required from the producer(s) or co-producers granting them the right to submit the application.
The beneficiary may be one of the following:
α) The Greek production company (whether the application is submitted by them or and production service company)
β) The foreign production company, provided they keep a branch in Greek territory (Business Activity Code 59.11 and 59.12) and a Greek IBAN
γ) The implementing body of the investment provided it has a written authorization from the Producer or the Producers or the Co-Producers appointed by the beneficiary to receive the state aid from EKOME.
The onset of the investment plan is defined as the first point in time that either:
- a) filming of an audiovisual work in the Greek territory begins, or:
- b) the first legally binding undertaking for the lease of equipment for the purpose of implementing a planned shooting in the Greek territory.
Completion of an investment plan is considered the completion of filming and/or post-production of the project.
Necessary condition for the approval of the inclusion proposal is that the shooting starts 60 calendar days after the application has been submitted.
Eligible are the expenses incurred from the date of application submission onward.
Law 4563/2018 does not have a cap on the amount of aid, nor a ceiling on the budget for eligible expenses.
The procedure for application approval by EKOME lasts up to two months from the date of the application submission.
The payment process is concluded about 3 - 5 months from the date the application for payment has been submitted.
The amount of state aid does NOT increase the income from business activity, but it is a reducing element of the cost of the expenditure that has been subsidized and is NOT subject to taxation.
The minimum amount of eligible expenses for the submission of an investment plan application is determined € 100,000. For TV series, the floor is set at € 15,000-€ 25,000 per episode, and the total budget for all episodes should be no less than € 100,000.
There is no ceiling for eligible expenses.
A non-exhaustive list of these documents is set out below:
- A declaration that you accept the terms of the procedure
- A contract signed by partners (co-production, contract with executive producer etc.)
- Documents pertaining to your company’s operation such as the company’s Charter, income tax return statement, a certificate of good standing
- A production plan and detailed budget for the expenses that will be incurred in Greece
- A finalized financing plan listing all funding sources accompanied by the relevant contracts
- A cultural criteria substantiated self-assessment
- Full script or synopsis of the audiovisual work
A full list of all necessary documents to submit is included in Joint Ministerial Decision 128/14-12-2018 and in Annex 1 of Joint Ministerial Decision 923/23-3-2018
The expenses presented in the budget of an audiovisual investment plan do NOT include Value Added Tax except for those related to fuel, accommodation and meals which are calculated with the relevant VAT.