UK Outlines Draft Rules For Film Insurance Funding Scheme

By Irene Madongo
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Law360, London (October 5, 2020, 5:45 PM BST) -- The U.K. government has published draft rules for a program that will allow British film and TV productions that were halted because they could not get insurance cover for risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for assistance to get back on track.

Film & TV Production Restart Scheme applicants must be from productions that are partnerships whose profits are subject to tax in the U.K. or a European Economic Area state, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in draft rules published Friday.

Producers from productions that are considered to be incorporated entities resident solely in the U.K. or an EEA state for tax purposes will also be eligible for the program, DCMS said.

Eligible participants will also have to pay a fee to the government for each production that they apply to register for the program. This fee will be paid in pounds sterling equal to 1% of the production budget.

"Pending this formal commencement, the scheme is now open for applications, which must be made via the appointed third-party administrator, Marsh Commercial," DCMS said.

The draft rules are not legally binding, as the formal commencement is conditional upon the European Commission approving state aid. Interested parties should register by Dec. 31 this year, and have until Nov. 30 next year to submit claims for losses incurred through June 30 of that year.

The publication of the scheme's draft rules and explanatory notes on Friday follows a DCMS announcement last month that it has appointed insurer Marsh Commercial as the third-party administrator, which is an organization that handles insurance claims for a separate business.

In July, the government unveiled the £500 million ($649 million) fund, which allows the government to effectively act as a commercial insurer for the sector.

"This targeted scheme, which will help fill the gap created by the lack of available insurance, will help protect tens of thousands of jobs, from actors and directors through to camera operators, costume designers and runners," Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, said at the time.

--Additional reporting by Martin Croucher. Editing by Marygrace Murphy.

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