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Internal Market: Norway's taxi licence rules breach EEA law

22.2.2017

PR(17)07 

EN   |   NO

Norway's restrictions on the taxi services market affect consumers and are in breach of EEA rules. Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has delivered a reasoned opinion to Norway.IStock-153573422

“The freedom of establishment is a fundamental freedom in the EEA. That is because allowing new entrants to the market is likely to benefit consumers through reduced fares and greater choice”, says ESA President Sven Erik Svedman.

ESA is not questioning Norway's taxi licencing requirement as such. Rather, ESA is concerned about how national legislation in Norway limits the number of taxi licences available in a licence district. The award of new licences is subject to a needs test, which means that the competent authorities in a district limit the number in accordance with the assumed demand.

This limitation restricts the freedom of establishment. ESA does not agree with the Norwegian Government that this restriction is justified by overriding reasons of public interest. On the contrary, creating disproportionately high barriers to enter the taxi market can lead to an inefficient use of resources and to increased prices for consumers.

ESA received a complaint against Norway in 2014 concerning access to the taxi services market in Oslo. ESA issued a letter of formal notice to Norway on the matter in May 2016, and is today taking the next step in the infringement procedure by adopting a reasoned opinion. Finally, ESA may bring the matter before the EFTA Court if Norway fails to comply within two months.


For further information, please contact:

Ms. Anne Vestbakke
Head of Communications
tel. +32 2 286 18 66
mob. +32 490 57 63 53




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