Calculation of the final amount
The final amount to be paid to the partner will be calculated by ECHO following the approval of the Final Report and supporting documents.
So as to establish the final amount of the grant, the scope of eligible costs needs to be established. The costs incurred will be judged against the cost eligibility criteria. Further to this assessment, ECHO may disallow certain costs or may reduce the grant.
- When the costs incurred do not comply with eligibility criteria, the full costs are deducted from the amount requested by the partner.
Reduction of the Grant
- When ECHO considers that an Action was not implemented or was implemented poorly, partially or late, i.e. when the partner did not comply with its obligations under the agreement and it failed to provide acceptable justifications for its lack of compliance. In this case, the reduction will be proportionate to the gravity and scope of the failing.
In those situations where ECHO considers that it should reduce its contribution, it will notify officially the partner of its intention to reduce the grant, indicating the amount it intends to reduce and the reasons thereof.
The partner will be invited to submit observations within 15 calendar days from the receipt of the notification.
If no information is submitted, or if despite the observations, ECHO decide to pursue the reduction, it will formally notify the partner.
If ECHO intends to reduce its contribution, the reduction takes place at the time of determination of the final amount. It is a percentage of the maximum amount of the grant as set out in the Article 3 of the Specific Grant Agreement.
The definitive final amount of the grant is the lower of the two amounts: the one obtained on the basis of the eligible costs and the one obtained after reduction of the initial maximum amount of the grant.
Where the total amount of earlier payments is greater than the final amount of the grant, the payment of the balance may take the form of a recovery.
Payment of the Balance
The payment of the balance is subject to the acceptance by ECHO of the Final Report and payment request.
The payment will be made within 60 calendar days of the registration of the final payment request unless ECHO suspends the time-limit.
ECHO will notify the partner of the final amount to be paid or recovered, explaining when necessary why the amounts requested by the partners have not been fully paid. If the pre-financing already paid is greater than the final amount to be paid, ECHO will recover the difference.
If the partner disagrees with the statement, it may request clarification to ECHO.
Suspension of the time-limit of payment (STOP-THE-CLOCK)
ECHO may suspend the time-limit for payment if:
- The Final Report has not been submitted;
- the Final Report does not comply with the requirements, e.g. it does not contain sufficient information to allow a good appraisal;
- there is a doubt about the eligibility of certain costs.
In such cases, ECHO will send to the partner a request for complementary information. From the date of sending this request, the remaining time-limit from the 60 calendar days for the final payment will be suspended.
The partner has 30 calendar days to reply to the request. The time-limit for payment will be resumed from the date the complementary information is received. In exceptional cases, the time-limit may be suspended until the necessary on the spot checks are carried out.
The remaining payment period shall start to run again from the date on which the requested information or revised documents are received, or the necessary further verification, including on-the-spot checks or audits, are carried out.
Where the suspension exceeds 60 calendar days, and this is not attributable to the Partner’s lack of reply, the Partner may request a decision by the Commission on whether the suspension is to be continued.
Where the time-limit for payment has been twice suspended following the Commission’s inability to approve the Final Report, the Commission reserves the right to terminate the Specific Grant Agreement.
Interest on late payment
ECHO will pay interests when payment takes place after the expiry of the time-limit.
- If the calculated interest is above EUR 200, it will be paid automatically by ECHO.
- If the interest is below EUR 200, the partner will have to request in writing within 60 calendar days from reception of the payment.
In case a partner has to return funds to the European Commission, they must be paid within the period indicated in the debit note issued by the European Commission. If the payment comes after the set deadline, the sum due will bear interest at the rate fixed in Article 20.2 of the General Conditions.
Administrative and financial penalties
Finally, Administrative and financial penalties may be imposed on a partner that committed substantial errors, irregularities, fraud, or on a partner that lied about certain required information or did not provide such information in order to receive grant, or during the implementation of the Specific Grant Agreement.