The Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) entered into force on 23 May 2024. 

A key feature of the CRMA is the recognition and support of strategic projects along the critical raw materials value chain. Support for strategic projects will help to lower the risk of supply disruptions by increasing Union capacities and diversifying imports.

Project promoters shall submit applications for recognition of a critical raw material project as a strategic project to the Commission. To structure the process, the Commission launched the present open call for applications and will announce regular cut-off dates.

Scope and criteria

Any project for the extraction, processing, recycling or substitution of any of the strategic raw materials listed in Annex I of the CRMA can be recognised as strategic if it meets the applicable criteria. The criteria for recognition for different categories of projects are set out in Article 6 and Annex III of the CRMA. Strategic projects can be both in the Union or in third countries.

Applications

According to Article 7(1) of the CRMA, applications for recognition of a critical raw material project shall be submitted by the project promoters to the Commission. The application shall include the documents and information listed in that provision.

The call is open from 23 May 2024, 14:00 (CEST). The first cut-off date is on 22 August 2024, 12:00 (CEST). Applications should be prepared following the instructions provided on the online application form.

(In line with Article 7(2), the Commission will adopt, by 24 November 2024, an implementing act establishing a single template to be used by project promoters for their applications. Applications can also be prepared and submitted before the adoption of the template, provided they comply with the requirements set out in Article 7.)

Assessment

After the first cut-off date, the applications received will be assessed in the following steps

  • Completeness check (September 2024): Application will be checked for completeness and, where relevant, promoters will be asked for additional information.
  • Assessment (September 2024 – October 2024): The complete applications will be assessed and project assessment reports drawn up.
  • Discussion and decision (Q4 2024): Based on the assessment reports, the European Critical Raw Material Board will discuss the proposed projects and the Commission will decide on the applications, taking the board’s opinion into account, and notify applicants.

Further information

For more detailed information on the application and evaluation process, please visit the call webpage and Strategic projects under the CRMA webpage.