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Can I declare as equipment the maintenance service of the equipment? And office supplies for an event? And a phone?

Maintenance and repairs of equipment is needed for the project provided the equipment links to content activities of the project. When the office equipment is used by the beneficiary for the project administrative purposes, the cost falls under Office and administration (g. maintenance, cleaning, repairs).
Concerning office supplies, no matter what use is made of them, their cost fall under Office and administration (g. maintenance, cleaning, repairs). So, it cannot be reported under equipment budget line, unless they are used for communication and publicity purposes.

If mobile phones are used for administrative purposes of the project, the cost fall under Office and administration (j. communication), when the phone forms part of the subscription cost, i.e. the mobile phone and subscription fee are billed together, and the subscription is considered the main cost.



Category : Programme Equipment purchase (implementation phase)

How should we handle the audit trail when the equipment is installed out of range of the controllers (e.g. underwater)?

If the equipment is installed outside the range of the FLC, the partner must keep written documentation regarding the installation of the equipment as well as proof of its operation (e.g. if the equipment consists of installing underwater measuring sensors, the FLC must verify that a plaque is visible  in the partner overwater offices or, if possible, close to the place but overwater, in any case a "location readily visible to the public" and that measurements sent by these sensors are received in accordance with the described technical specifications).



Category : Programme Equipment purchase (implementation phase)

Why is it recommended to keep photos of the equipment, and especially of the branding?

A characteristic of the equipment audit trail is that pictures of this type of material should be kept. The existence of photos allows the verification of the existence of the equipment and the respect of the EU and the programme branding rules, in the case of desk-based verifications.

In addition to the photos, the FLC should check it on the spot depending of the category on equipment:

  • General (office) use: not necessary
  • Thematic equipment: if it exceeds EUR 2.000 per item
  • SSI: always (at least once in the life of the project)



Category : Programme Equipment purchase (implementation phase)

What kind of expenditures related to small scale investments should be allocated to the budget line equipment and which to the external expertise budget line?

All goods and services related to the set up of small scale investment should be charged to the equipment line. No cost should be allocated under external expertise and services line.

The FLC must verify, in the first place, the eligibility of each piece of equipment of the SSI separately, and then verify that it meets the definition given and that, in consequence, when calculating the amount of allocation, it has been done in accordance with the principles of each category of equipment. 



Category : Programme Equipment purchase (implementation phase)

How do I know if the equipment can be considered a small-scale investment?

As defined in the Programme Manual, small scale investments are facilities or infrastructures of limited size or scope necessaries for the successful implementation of a pilot activity.

Based on this definition, it can be concluded that there is a SSI only if ALL the following 5 points (cumulative criteria) are fulfilled:

1) The SSI is made up of pieces of equipment assembled, which are part of a whole (I.e. a facility or infrastructure of limited size or scope). The acquisition of the pieces in an isolated form would not be justified.
2) It works thanks to the interaction created by putting all the pieces, goods and services, together.
3) It is tailor-made  to the needs of the project/activities/pilot activities. Thus, a software and hardware even if they are linked together for a proper use cannot be considered an SSI. It is the result of assembling all the pieces that gives a reason for being.
4) Its purpose is to meet the objectives of a pilot activity. And it is because of that that it is « essential » for the project implementation.
5) Its use after the end of the pilot activity should be considered as a perpetuation of the pilot activity once the project has been completed.



Category : Programme Equipment purchase (implementation phase)

When should a depreciation plan be established?

To determine the depreciation period of each piece of equipment, as well as the date from which depreciation must be taken into consideration, each partner should refer to relevant national accounting rules and its own internal accounting policies. 

It is important to note that sometimes these rules establish a minimum cost to set up a depreciation plan. Equipment that does not reach this minimum can be declared in full.
Depreciation cost of equipment purchased before the start of the project can be allocated to the project provided no public grants have contributed towards acquisition of the equipment. The cost that can be reported correspond to the depreciation related exclusively to the period of project implementation. The costs should be duly justified by supporting documents of equivalent probative value.

The criterion used to decide whether a category of equipment should be depreciated is the ability to reuse it in future activities to be carried out by the partner.  This possibility is real in the case of equipment for general (office) use and thematic equipment, and this is what would justify the principle of sound financial management.



Category : Programme Equipment purchase (implementation phase)

Why is a depreciation plan not needed in the case of small scale investment (SSI)?

SSI (Small scale investment) are set up to answer to the needs of the project, it means that they are specifically designed by the project and for the project. In this situation, the reuse of the pieces of equipment would not be possible for other partners' activities. The only reuse would be to ensure the durability of main outputs of the project.

Category : Programme Equipment purchase (implementation phase)

What is a depreciation plan?

The monetary value of an asset decreases over time due to use, wear and tear or obsolescence. This decrease is measured as depreciation. Equipment is likely to be depreciated over a specific period of time.

In the framework of the Interreg MED Programme, a depreciation plan is considered as a document that sets out a depreciation schedule in order to find out how much of that depreciation is carried out over the life of the project, and can therefore be declared as a project cost. Depreciation outside the life of the project may not be declared as a cost.



Category : Programme Equipment purchase (implementation phase)

Is there any limitation as to the equipment that can be foreseen and allocated to a project? What does “exclusive use” mean and why must it be justified?

Although equipment for general (office) use can be considered « essential » for the project implementation, their use should be considered exceptional and limited. It is unlikely that, for example, in a partnership, all project partners foresee the purchase of a laptop.

In fact, the Programme has decided to leave this possibility, in cases where new staff, working 100% in the project, must be equipped by the partner, but always taking into consideration that this equipment will continue to be used by the partner once the project is finished. In the case of purchase, ownership of the equipment cannot be changed for at least 5 years after the end of the project. In addition to the fact that its acquisition must be more than justified, it is required that it would be used exclusively  within the framework of the project. For example, if a printer is purchased, the partner must declare that it will only be used within the project. Its use cannot be shared between several MED projects. This fact makes difficult to justify any acquisition since its cost benefit (principle of sound financial management) should be measured not only in terms of the price but also in terms of the time of use within the project.
In short, the use of this type of equipment is appropriate in exceptional and duly justified cases. Knowing that in the certification process it is necessary for the partner to sign a declaration of exclusive use (available on the Programme's website).

Finally, it should be remembered that in the event that a further check reveals that the principle of exclusive use has not been respected, not only the expenditure will be considered ineligible and a recovery procedure will be set up, but a suspicion of fraud may be reported to the competent authorities.



Category : Programme Equipment purchase (implementation phase)

What is the understanding of equipment for general (office) use?

Is considered as equipment for general (office) use any piece of IT hardware (desktop computers, laptops, tablets, monitors, keyboards, mice), IT software (office use), office furniture, printers, telephones, digital/video cameras, scanners, digital projectors.
This kind of equipment is usually at partners’ disposal for the development of their daily activities.



Category : Programme Equipment purchase (implementation phase)