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PR(97)12: Reference to the EFTA Court concerning the non-implementation of the Vinyl Chloride Monomer Directive (/EEC) by Norway

11.10.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has decided that the non-implementation of the Vinyl Chloride Monomer Directive by Norway should be brought before the EFTA Court.

The case concerns the non-implementation by Norway of Council Directive 78/610/EEC of 29 June 1978 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States on the protection of health of workers exposed to vinyl chloride monomer (OJ No L 197, 22.7.1978, p. 12-18). The provisions of the Vinyl Chloride Monomer Directive constitute minimal requirements. Norway was to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the Directive no later than 1 January 1994.

The substance vinyl chloride monomer is classified as carcinogenic to humans. Long-term or repeated exposure to vinyl chloride monomer may lead to liver cancer.

As the necessary national measures had not been taken to implement the Directive, a letter of formal notice was sent in April 1996. The necessary measures still not having been taken, a reasoned opinion was delivered in May 1997, calling upon Norway to rectify the situation within two months.

To date, the reasoned opinion has not been acted upon. Norway has thus failed to take the measures necessary to comply with the Directive, and the Authority has decided to refer the matter to the EFTA Court.

For further information please contact Mr. Håkan Berglin, Director of the Legal and Executive Affairs Department, telephone (+32)2 286 18 30.

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