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Internal Market

Public procurement: Complaint case on the new public contract for the Bergen – Kirkenes route closed



Today, the Authority decided to close a complaint case against Norway concerning the contract award for maritime passenger transport services on the Bergen - Kirkenes route.

The compliant concernes the tender process which led to the signing of a contract between the Norwegian Government and Hurtigruten ASA during spring 2011.

The complainant claimed that (1) the Norwegian Government should have divided the tender into smaller lots in order to allow small and medium sized enterprises to win parts of the tender and to operate the route collectively and (2) that the Norwegian Government should have procured more environmently friendly vessels.

However, under the current EEA rules on public procurement, contracting authorities are in principle free to define the scope of a public contract, as long as this is done on a non-discriminatory basis.

Furthermore, under the current EEA rules on public procurement, environmental performance is not relevant in assessing the overall legality of the tender procedure, as long as environmental considerations are not included in the tender specifications and there is no specific secondary EEA legislation defining specific performance requirements for the type of vessels concerned.


For further information, please contact:


Trygve Mellvang-Berg,
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 58
mob. (+32)492 900 187


Steven Verhulst
Senior Officer
Internal Market Affairs Directorate
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 58

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