The definition of subsidies contains three basic elements: (i) a financial contribution (ii) by a government or any public body within the territory of a Member (iii) which confers a benefit. All three of these elements must be satisfied in order for a subsidy to exist  1.

In general harmful subsidies are a result of government budgetary transfers that confer an advantage on consumers or producers, in order to supplement their income or lower their costs, but in doing so, inadvertently have adverse impacts on the environment  2.

WTO  1