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Internal Market

PR(10)03: Norway fails to fully incorporate regulations on maritime safety


The Authority has today decided to deliver two reasoned opinions to Norway for not making regulations on maritime safety part of its internal legal order.

The first reasoned opinion concerns Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 on the European Maritime Safety Agency. The second reasoned opinion concerns Commission Regulation (EC) No 93/2007 on a Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS).  

Norway has amongst others argued that it would be inappropriate to incorporate legislative measures that do not have any legal substance relevant to private individuals or undertakings in Norway into Norway's internal statutes or regulations.

The Authority is of the view that according to Article 7 of the EEA Agreement, EFTA States are obliged to make regulations part of their internal legal order as such, irrespective of the content of the regulation. Therefore, an EFTA State would be in breach of Article 7 of the EEA Agreement if it chose only to make those provisions of a regulation which seek to create rights and obligations towards individuals and undertakings part of the internal legal order, and thus not incorporate into its national legal order provisions which regulate the relationship between the Contracting Parties. The Authority considers that Article 7 EEA requires the incorporation of Regulations taken into the EEA Agreement as such irrespective of their content.

If the EFTA States consider that a regulation is of such a nature that it is not to be incorporated as such into the national legal order, that is an issue which needs to be addressed when the act is taken into the Agreement by a decision of the EEA Joint Committee. As both regulations have been taken into the Agreement without any reservations, the Authority is of the opinion that the non-incorportation of the regulations into Norwegian law is in breach of the EEA Agreement.

Delivering a reasoned opinion is the second stage in infringement proceedings. If the Norwegian Government fails to take satisfactory measures within two months of receiving the reasoned opinion the EFTA Surveillance Authority may bring the matter before the EFTA Court.


For further information, please contact: 

Mr Bjørnar Alterskjær
Deputy Director
Legal & Executive Affairs
Tel. (+32) 495 29 16 05


Mr Einar Hannesson
Senior Officer
Internal Market Affairs Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 43


Brussels, 24 February 2010



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