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Internal Market: Iceland must reduce administrative requirements on temporary employment agencies



The EFTA Surveillance Authority decided yesterday to send a reasoned opinion, a final warning, to Iceland concerning administrative requirements imposed on foreign temporary employment agencies providing services in Iceland.

These requirements include the following:

  • An obligation on foreign temporary employment agencies to notify the authorities in Iceland eight working days prior to the start of their operations
  • An obligation to have a representative in Iceland
  • A requirement to submit information about the workers sent to Iceland.

In addition, the undertaking receiving the service is also subject to certain administrative requirements.

The Authority takes the view that the combined effect of these administrative requirements amount to a prior authorisation scheme which is a disproportionate restriction on the freedom to provide services under the EEA Agreement. The Authority underlines that the objectives pursued by these requirements may be achieved by a less restrictive declaratory procedure.

A letter of formal notice was issued to Iceland in November 2010.

Iceland has acknowledged that the administrative requirements, taken together, do not comply with EEA law. A proposal for the amendment of the relevant rules was put before the Parliament last April. However, the amendment has not yet been adopted.

The purpose of a reasoned opinion is to give the State in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides whether to bring the matter before the EFTA Court. The Icelandic Government has been given two months to take the measures necessary to comply with the reasoned opinion.


For further information, please contact:


Mr. Xavier Lewis
Director of Legal and Executive Affairs
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 30


Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press and Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 30
mob. (+32)492 900 187

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