The Commission published in the Official Journal a formal invitation to submit comments on its proposal to extend the period of application of Regulation No. 1857/2006 on state aid to small and medium-sized enterprises active in the production of agricultural products (“ABER”). The current framework for state aid in the agricultural sector has been in force since 1 January 2007. The framework includes the ABER, the Guidelines on state aid in the agriculture and forestry sector and the Commission Regulation 1535/2007 on de minimis state aid in agricultural production. The framework expires 31 December 2013. According to the Commission, it is appropriate to extend the period of application of the ABER until 30 June 2014 since the content of the future exemption regulation depends on various other instruments, in particular the new general block exemption regulation and the future rules applicable to rural development. These regulations are not expected to be fully in force or applicable on 1 January 2014. Further, the Commission published a formal invitation to submit comments on its proposal for a revised Regulation for de minimis aid in the agriculture sector (“the New Agricultural de minimis Regulation) in the Official Journal. The proposal increases the maximum amount of aid that can be granted without being notified to the Commission from EUR 7,500 to EUR 10,000 over three years and it also increases the cap to 1 % of annual output in the agriculture sector. Further, the Commission proposes, inter alia, to introduce a mandatory de minimis register by 31 December 2015 to cover all de minimis measures granted under the New Agricultural de minimis Regulation from 1 January 2016 onwards. According to the Commission’s proposal, the New Agricultural de minimis Regulation would enter into force on 1 January 2014 and be valid until 31 December 2020. The review of the state aid rules in the agriculture sector is a part of the Commission’s State Aid Modernisation initiative. The Commission invites interested parties to submit comments by 5 September 2013. Source: Official Journal C 227/1 and C 227/3, 06/08/2013