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Internal Market: Norway must adapt taxation of EEA-registered cars on loan or lease to Norwegian residents




The Norwegian rules concerning registration tax on EEA-registered vehicles that are borrowed or leased by a Norwegian resident from a private person for temporary use in Norway are not in line with EEA rules. This is the conclusion of a reasoned opinion sent to Norway by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) today.

According to Norwegian legislation, persons permanently resident in Norway can, in principle, only borrow or lease a foreign-registered vehicle and use it temporarily in Norway if they pay the Norwegian registration tax in full in Norway. On the other hand, there is no duty to pay registration tax if the borrowed or leased vehicle is already registered in Norway.

Norway has recently amended its national legislation to allow the reimbursement of registration tax paid in excess. The purpose is to make sure that any tax paid is proportionate to the duration of the use of the vehicle in Norway. However, ESA is of the opinion that the system in place is incomplete. In order for it to be considered fully compatible with EEA law, it must provide for the possibility of an anticipated reduction of the registration tax in certain circumstances, in particular when the precise duration of the use can be determined, such as for example in a rental or lease contract. Furthermore, ESA takes the view that national legislation fails to ensure that the remainder of the tax paid is reimbursed with compensation of interests, as required by EEA law.

ESA acknowledges that the Norwegian authorities are willing to participate in a dialogue on possible remedies to the matter. However, the responses so far have unfortunately not been detailed enough to allow for an assessment of the remedial measures under scrutiny.

A reasoned opinion is the second stage in infringement proceedings. The Authority may bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Norway fails to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinion within two months.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Ásdís Ólafsdóttir
Communication Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 97
mob. (+32)(0)490 57 63 49 

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