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Is Catering always considered as subcontracting in FP7?
The key question is if the cost is a subcontract. If the services in question are a subcontract then the subcontract can not be taken into account when calculating overheads. The classification of the services depends on their character.
Some costs incurred in relation to organisation of the meeting may be considered as subcontracting (e.g. catering services provided by an external company) whereas others (renting the rooms directly in a hotel) would not fall within this category. ln this sense remember that subcontracting is a business transaction by which the subcontractor performs some work for a beneficiary.
Subcontracting costs are direct costs. Whether major or minor costs, they have to be identified by beneficiaries in the financial statement form (Form C, Annex VI to GA). In any case, they should be reported as subcontracting (if you are paying for a service; the difference is that the GA allows that these minor subcontracts do not previously appear in the Description of work of the project, As subcontracts, they are a cost to a beneficiary for a work/service which is performed by a third party and not by the beneficiary, and therefore indirect costs can not be charged by the beneficiary on them; in this cases, the indirect costs are already covered by the price paid by the beneficiary to the subcontractor. The same rules for subcontracting apply to all projects, including CSA.