The European Chips Act

The European Chips Act, Preamble 21 to 30, Proposal of February 2022

European Chips Act, Preamble 21 to 30

(21) In order to qualify as Integrated Production Facilities or Open EU Foundries, the establishment and operation of the facility should have a clear positive impact on the semiconductor value chain in the Union, in particular with regard to providing a resilient supply of semiconductors to users on the internal market. The impact on several Member States, including cohesion objectives, should be considered as one of the indicators of a clear positive impact of an Integrated Production Facility and Open EU Foundry on the semiconductor value chain in the Union.

(22) It is important that Integrated Production Facilities and Open EU Foundries are not subject to extraterritorial application of public service obligations imposed by third countries that could undermine their ability to use their infrastructure, software, services, facilities, assets, resources, intellectual property or knowhow needed to fulfil the obligation on priority rated orders under this Regulation, which they would have to guarantee.

(23) In light of the fast development of semiconductor technologies and to strengthen the future industrial competitiveness of the Union, Integrated Production Facilities and Open EU Foundries should commit to continued and efficient investment into the next generations of semiconductors, including by testing and experimenting new developments through priority access to the pilot lines set up by the Chips for Europe Initiative, without prejudice to effective access by others.

(24) To allow for a uniform and transparent procedure to attain recognition as an Integrated Production Facility and Open EU Foundry, the recognition decision should be adopted by the Commission following the application by an individual undertaking or a consortium of several undertakings.

To account for the importance of a coordinated and cooperated implementation of the planned facility, the Commission should take into account in its assessment the readiness of the Member State or Member States where the applicant intends to establish its facilities to support the set-up. Furthermore, when assessing the viability of the business plan, the Commission could take into account the overall record of the applicant. In light of the privileges attached to recognition as an Integrated Production Facility or Open EU Foundry, the Commission should monitor whether facilities that have been granted this status continue to comply with the criteria set out in this Regulation.

(25) In light of their importance for ensuring the security of supply and enabling a resilient semiconductor ecosystem, Integrated Production Facilities and Open EU Foundries should be considered to be in the public interest. Ensuring the security of supply of semiconductors is important also for digitalisation that enables the green transition of many other sectors. To contribute towards security of supply of semiconductors in the Union, Member States may apply support schemes and provide for administrative support in national permit granting procedures. This is without prejudice to the competence of the Commission in the field of State aid under Article 107 and 108 of the Treaty, where relevant. Member States should support the set-up of Integrated Production Facilities and Open EU Foundries in accordance with Union law.

(26) It is necessary that Integrated Production Facilities and Open EU Foundries are set-up as quickly as possible, while keeping the administrative burden to a minimum. For that reason, Member States should treat applications related to the planning, construction and operation of Integrated Production Facilities and Open EU Foundries in the most rapid manner possible. They should appoint an authority which will facilitate and coordinate the permit granting processes and appoint a coordinator, serving as a single point of contact for the project.

Moreover, where necessary for granting a derogation under Council Directive 92/43/EEC56 and Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and Council, the establishment and operation of these facilities may be considered as being of overriding public interest within the meaning of the aforementioned legal texts, provided that the remaining other conditions set out in these provisions are fulfilled.

(27) The internal market would greatly benefit from common standards for green, trusted and secure chips. Future smart devices, systems and connectivity platforms will have to rely on advanced semiconductor components and they will have to meet green, trust and cybersecurity requirements which will largely depend on the features of the underlying technology. To that end, the Union should develop reference certification procedures and require the industry to jointly develop such procedures for specific sectors and technologies with potential high social impact.

(28) In light of this, the Commission, in consultation with the European Semiconductor Board, should prepare the ground for a certification of green, trusted and secure chips and embedded systems that rely on or make extensive use of semiconductor technologies. In particular, they should discuss and identify the relevant sectors and products in need of such certification.

(29) In light of the structural deficiencies of the semiconductor supply chain and the resulting risk of future shortages, this Regulation provides instruments for a coordinated approach to monitoring and effectively tackling possible market disruptions.

(30) Due to the complex, quickly evolving and interlinked semiconductor value chains with various actors, a coordinated approach to regular monitoring is necessary to increase the ability to mitigate risks that may negatively affect the supply of semiconductors. Member States should monitor the semiconductor value chain focusing on early warning indicators and the availability and integrity of the services and goods provided by key market actors, in such a way that it would not represent an excessive administrative burden for undertakings.

Note: This is not the final text of the European Chips Act. This is the text of the European Chips Act Proposal of February 2022.