The European Chips Act

Preamble 41 to 50.

(41) In order to encourage the establishment of the necessary related design capabilities, Member States may provide support for such activities in accordance with State aid rules on the basis of Articles 107 and 108 TFEU, including under the R & D&I State aid framework or Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014.

(42) It is necessary that integrated production facilities and open EU foundries are established as quickly as possible, while keeping the administrative burden to a minimum. For that reason, Member States should process applications related to the planning, construction and operation of integrated production facilities and open EU foundries in the most rapid manner possible.

Member States should be able to appoint an authority to facilitate and coordinate the permit-granting processes which could 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/EEC and Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and Council, the establishment and operation of these facilities may be considered to be of overriding public interest within the meaning of those Directives, provided that the remaining other conditions set out in those provisions are fulfilled. This is without prejudice to the applicability or implementation of other Union environmental law.

(43) Innovative high-tech businesses are increasingly exposed to practices aiming to misappropriate confidential information, trade secrets and protected data, such as IP theft, unauthorised copying, forced technology transfers, economic espionage or the breach of confidentiality requirements, from within and in particular from outside the Union.

Recent developments, such as increased outsourcing, longer global value chains, and the increased use of information and communication technology contribute to increasing the risk of those practices. The unlawful acquisition, use or disclosure of confidential information, trade secrets, and protected data compromises the ability to obtain first-mover returns from innovation-related efforts.

In order to ensure the protection of confidential information, trade secrets, and protected data, this Regulation should be implemented in a manner that fully respects the Union and international framework of data and IP protection and enforcement, including Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Directives 2004/48/EC and (EU) 2016/943, and Directive (EU) 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

To further address key supply-chain risks, Member States may make use of the possibility provided for by Directive (EU) 2022/2555 of the European Parliament and of the Council to carry out coordinated security risk assessments of critical supply chains, as carried out for 5G networks following Commission Recommendation (EU) 2019/534, with the aim of identifying, per sector, relevant threats and vulnerabilities and to identify measures, mitigation plans and best practices to counter critical dependencies, potential single points of failure, threats, vulnerabilities and other risks associated with the supply chain.

(44) The internal market would greatly benefit from common standards for green, sustainably manufactured, trusted and secure chips. Future smart devices, systems and connectivity platforms will have to rely on advanced semiconductor chips 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.

(45) In light of this, the Commission, in consultation with the European Semiconductor Board and with due involvement of stakeholders, should identify the sectors and products that rely on or make extensive use of semiconductor technologies and are in need of certified green, trusted and secure chips. The identification of such sectors and products could stimulate the take-up of European and international standards for risk management.

(46) In light of the complexities of the semiconductor supply chain and the risk of future shortages, this Regulation should provide instruments for a coordinated approach to strategic mapping and monitoring of the semiconductor sector and effectively tackling possible market disruptions in a proportionate manner.

(47) The objective of a strategic mapping of the semiconductor sector should be to provide an analysis of the Union’s strengths and weaknesses in the global semiconductor sectors with a view to providing a basis for measures to ensure security of supply and resilience of the Union’s semiconductor ecosystem.

To that end, the strategic mapping should identify factors such as key products and critical infrastructures in the internal market that depend on the supply of semiconductors, main user industries and their current and expected needs, key segments of the Union’s semiconductor supply chain, technological characteristics, dependencies on third-country technology and providers, and bottlenecks of the Union’s semiconductor sector, current and expected needs for skills and access to qualified workforce and, where appropriate, the potential impact of the measures of the emergency toolbox. The strategic mapping should be based on publicly and commercially available data and, if necessary, on data obtained through voluntary information requests of undertakings, in consultation with the European Semiconductor Board.

(48) In order to forecast and prepare for future disruptions of the different stages of the semiconductor value chain in the Union and of trade within the Union, the Commission should, assisted by the European Semiconductor Board and on the basis of the outcome of the strategic mapping, identify and develop a list of early warning indicators.

Such indicators could include atypical increases in lead time, the availability of raw materials, intermediate products and human capital needed for manufacturing semiconductors, or appropriate manufacturing equipment, the forecasted demand for semiconductors on the Union and global markets, price surges exceeding normal price fluctuation, the effect of accidents, attacks, natural disasters or other serious events, the effect of trade policies, tariffs, export restrictions, trade barriers and other trade-related measures, and the effect of business closures, offshoring or acquisitions of key market actors. Monitoring activities of the Commission should focus on these early warning indicators.

(49) Due to the complex, quickly evolving and interlinked semiconductor value chains with various actors, a coordinated approach to monitoring is necessary to increase the ability to mitigate risks that may negatively affect the supply of semiconductors and to enhance the understanding of the dynamics of the semiconductor value chain.

The Commission, in consultation with the European Semiconductor Board, should monitor the semiconductor value chain focusing on early warning indicators and identifying best practices for risk mitigation and increased transparency in the semiconductor value chain, in such a way that it would not represent an excessive administrative burden for undertakings, in particular SMEs.

(50) In order to minimise the burden for undertakings responding to the monitoring and to ensure that the acquired information can be compiled in a meaningful way, the Commission should provide for standardised and secure means for any information collection. These means should ensure that any collected information is treated confidentially, ensuring business secrecy and cybersecurity.