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Internal Market: ESA closes complaint case regarding harbour access in Sandefjord




The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) decided today to close a case against Norway concerning an alleged failure to respect the right to harbour access to the Port of Sandefjord.

The case originated from a complaint by the ferry company Fjord Line, which in 2012 applied for access to the port, but was rejected by the Municipality of Sandefjord. The complainant had argued that this rejection amounted to a failure by Norway to ensure port access for maritime service providers in accordance with the fundamental freedom to provide cross-border maritime services in the EEA.

In August 2015, Fjord Line reached a public settlement with the Municipality and another ferry company, Color Line, allowing for better access to sailing slots at the harbour. On the basis of that settlement, ESA has now concluded that there are no grounds for pursuing the complaint case further under the internal market rules.

The said settlement followed the opening of antitrust proceedings by ESA in a related case – investigating the same situation – under the EEA competition rules. ESA is currently reviewing the commitments proposed by Color Line and Sandefjord Municipality to address ESA's competition concerns. Consequently, the antitrust proceedings are still pending.


For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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