The Commission has adopted the Act in Support of Ammunition Production (ASAP) as a response to track 3 of the plan agreed by the Council on 20 March, to urgently deliver ammunition and missiles to Ukraine and to help Member States refill their stocks.
By introducing targeted measures including financing, the Act aims at ramping up the EU’s production capacity and addressing the current shortage of ammunition and missiles as well as their components. It will support the destocking from Member States (track 1) and the joint procurement for ammunition (track 2).
In particular, it will strengthen the responsiveness and ability of the Union defence industry to ensure the timely supply of ammunition and missiles in Europe. In light of the return of high intensity conflict in Europe, the timely availability in sufficient volumes of these products is critical for our security and for our continuous efforts to support Ukraine. This proposal for a new Regulation comprises:
- An instrument to financially support the reinforcement of the Union’s industrial production capacities for the relevant defence products;
- A mechanism to map, monitor and better anticipate the existence of bottlenecks in these supply chains;
- The introduction of a temporary regulatory framework to address the ammunition supply shortage.
The Commission proposes to allocate a budget of €500 million in current prices. This budget comes from the redeployment of different instruments, in particular the European Defence Fund and the future EDIRPA.
Provide financial support to produce more and faster
The proposed Regulation comprises measures to support the industrial reinforcement of ammunition and missiles production in the EU, including their input products. Financial support will be provided in the form of grants to various types of actions contributing to the efforts of the European defence industry to increase their production capacities and tackle identified bottlenecks. Financial support will be provided to actions contributing to:
- Optimising, expanding, modernising, upgrading or repurposing existing production capacities;
- Establishing new production capacities;
- Establishing cross-border industrial partnerships, including through public-private partnerships, aiming, for instance, at securing access to or reserving stocks of strategic components or raw materials;
- Building up and making available reserved surge manufacturing capacities;
- Testing or reconditioning (to address obsolescence) processes with a view to making existing ammunition and missiles useable;
- Reskilling and upskilling related workforce.
In addition, the Act will facilitate access to finance for EU companies in the ammunition and missile field, potentially through a dedicated facility, the ‘Ramp-up Fund’. This fund would aim to support undertakings in the ammunition and missile supply chains to have access to both public and private financing, to speed up investments needed to increase manufacturing capacities.
Identify, monitor, and anticipate bottlenecks and shortages
This Act will ensure the necessary information gathering at EU level and enable the Commission and Member States to anticipate shortages affecting the security of supply of ammunition and missiles. To this end, the Commission will conduct, together with Member States in line with the Joint Task Force on defence procurement, a mapping exercise to identify and continuously monitor the availability of ammunition and missiles as well as their components and their corresponding inputs. This exercise will better inform the use of financial support and regulatory measures.
Ensure security of supply
The regulatory measures foreseen under this Act will protect the Internal Market from any current or potential identified malfunctioning, and hence strengthen the resilience of the EU’s Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), as well as guarantee security of supply of ammunition and missiles. In particular, the Commission proposes:
- Temporary emergency measures such as the possibility to activate upon request of a procuring Member State and in agreement with the Member States concerned, priority rated orders towards relevant European companies;
- Targeted measures to speed up administrative processes at national level, by encouraging prioritisation of relevant permit granting and certification processes;
- Tailored measures aiming at speeding up common procurement (Member States will have the possibility to open an existing framework agreement to other Member States that were not originally party to it) and transfers (transfers will be exempted from prior authorisation within the European Union).
More infomation: European Commission