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

11.4.2013

PR(13)29

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

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

Cross-border lending of a vehicle free of charge is considered as a loan between citizens residing in different EEA States and as such constitutes a capital movement within the meaning of the EEA Agreement. The levy of a full registration tax amounts to a restriction on the free movement of capital as cross-border loans are taxed, while loans of a motor vehicle are not taxed where the vehicle is already registered in Norway. As a result, the registration tax is liable to make cross-border capital movements less attractive, by dissuading residents in Norway from accepting loans offered by residents of another EEA State of a vehicle registered in that State.

As the Norwegian Government could not provide any justification for the restriction, the levy of registration tax is in breach of the EEA rules on free movement of capital.

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:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187




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