New aid is defined as all aid, i.e., aid schemes and individual aid, which is not existing aid. An alteration to existing aid may constitute new aid provided that the modification is substantive. The creation of a new aid or the modification of an existing aid must be assessed by reference to the provisions which provide for the aid and their terms and limits, such that only a change that affects the initial aid scheme in its actual substance transforms it into new aid.

The classification of new aid is of major interest both for the State dispensing the aid and for the recipient, since only the new aid is subject to the prior notification requirement with resulting standstill effect while waiting for the Commission decision. The aid may not be put into effect before the Commission has taken a decision authorizing it (Regulation No 2015/1589, Art. 3). In principle, the State may not derogate from this rule. Any new aid that is put into effect without having been notified in advance, or notified but put into effect before having been authorized or deemed to be authorized, constitutes unlawful aid.