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PR(09)101: The Authority closes its investigation against Port of Kristiansand after Fjord Line is granted access to the Port


On 16 December 2009, the Authority decided to close its case relating to the exclusion of Fjord Line from the Port of Kristiansand. The Port refused to grant Fjord Line access in 2009 on the grounds that Fjord Line did not provide year-round transport for passengers and cargo. The closure of the Authority's investigation follows a decision by the Norwegian authorities obliging the Port to grant Fjord Line access in the future.

 The Authority received a complaint from Fjord Line in November 2008 alleging infringement of the EEA competition rules. At that time, the Port of Kristiansand had decided that all ferry operators were required to provide year-round services for passengers and cargo in order to be allowed to operate out of the harbour. Fjord Line used a high speed catamaran on its route from Kristiansand to Northern Jutland, and claimed that it was not able to meet that requirement: the catamaran does not carry cargo and is unsuitable in the winter months since it cannot sail in rough sea.

 In parallel with the investigation by the Authority, Fjord Line also lodged a complaint with the Norwegian Coastal Administration, alleging that the Port's requirements were contrary to Norwegian harbour legislation. On 8 May 2009, the Coastal Administration found in favour of Fjord Line, and access to the harbour was granted. 

 Against that background, the Authority considers that there are no longer sufficient grounds for pursuing the case.

 For further information, please contact:

Per Andreas Bjørgan
Director, Competition and State Aid Directorate
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 36


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