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Internal Market: Norway's unilateral ban on PFOA is a breach of EEA law




The EFTA Surveillance Authority finds that Norwegian legislation introducing a ban on the chemical PFOA breaches the harmonised rules established by EEA legislation on chemicals. As a consequence, the Authority today delivered a reasoned opinion to Norway.

Recent changes to the Norwegian product regulation prohibited the use of PFOA (a synthetic chemical) in certain consumer goods.

The Authority holds the view that this unilateral ban on PFOA breaches the requirements of the REACH regulation on chemicals. The REACH Regulation aims to ensure not only a high level of protection for both individuals and the environment from harmful chemicals, but also the free circulation of substances on the internal market.

The introduction of a unilateral ban, instead of following the procedure envisaged under the REACH regulation for dealing with dangerous substances, risks undermining the internal market. The Authority underlines that if a State has identified an uncontrolled risk to the environment and public health that would call for national legislation, the State is under an obligation to follow the restriction process set out in the REACH regulation.

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. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187


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