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PR(99)26: The EFTA Surveillance Authority requests Liechtenstein to comply with EEA rules

30.9.2002

During the month of December 1999, the EFTA Surveillance Authority sent five Reasoned Opinions in the fields of Accounting, Banking and Insurance to Liechtenstein for failing to comply with EEA rules.

The Reasoned Opinions were issued pursuant to the first paragraph of Article 31 of the Agreement between the EFTA States on the Establishment of a Surveillance Authority and a Court of Justice, and after having given the Liechtenstein Government the opportunity to submit its observations. The purpose of a Reasoned Opinion is to give the State in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides to bring the matter before the EFTA Court.

1.    Failure to take the necessary measures to comply with Articles 2-4, 7-20.1, 20.3-26, 28-29, 31-32, 34-35, 37-39, 41-43, 46-51 and 56 of the Act referred to in point 4 of Annex XXII to the EEA Agreement (Fourth Company Law Directive 78/660/EEC), as last amended by Council Directive 94/8/EC, as adapted by way of Protocol 1 to the EEA Agreement. Liechtenstein was to bring into force the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the Directive, and to inform the Authority forthwith thereof, no later than 1 May 1998.

The Authority has received information from Liechtenstein indicating that national measures considered to ensure partial compliance with the Directive have been adopted. However, the Authority has concluded that the measures thus notified as already adopted do not ensure compliance with the Articles mentioned above.

The Fourth Company Law Directive provides for a coordination of national provisions concerning the presentation and content of annual accounts and annual reports, the valuation methods used therein and their publications in respect of certain types of companies.

2.    Failure to take the necessary measures to comply with Articles 1(1), 2-4, 7, 14, 16-19, 21-31, 33-34 and 36-38 of the Act referred to in point 6 of Annex XXII to the EEA Agreement (Seventh Company Law Directive 83/349/EEC), as last amended by Council Directive 90/605/EEC, as adapted by way of Protocol 1 to the EEA Agreement. Liechtenstein was to bring into force the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the Directive, and to inform the Authority forthwith thereof, no later than 1 May 1998.

The Authority has received information from Liechtenstein indicating that national measures considered to ensure partial compliance with the Directive have been adopted. However, the Authority has concluded that the measures thus notified as already adopted do not ensure compliance with the Articles mentioned above.

The Seventh Company Law Directive provides for a coordination of national provisions governing consolidated accounts of certain types of companies.

3.    Failure to take the necessary measures to comply with Articles 27, 28(1) and 28(2) of the Act referred to in point 7 of Annex XXII to the EEA Agreement (Eighth Company Law Directive 84/253/EEC), as adapted by way of Protocol 1 to the EEA Agreement. Liechtenstein was to bring into force the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the Directive, and to inform the Authority forthwith thereof, no later than 1 May 1998.

The Authority has received information from Liechtenstein indicating that national measures considered to ensure partial compliance with the Directive have been adopted. However, the Authority has concluded that the measures thus notified as already adopted do not ensure compliance with Articles 27, 28(1) and 28(2) of the Directive.

Article 27 of the Directive stipulates that EEA States shall ensure that the members and shareholders of approved firms of auditors and the members of the administrative, management and supervisory bodies of such firms who do not personally satisfy the conditions laid down in Article 3 to 19 of the Directive, do not intervene in the execution of audits in any way which jeopardises the independence of the natural persons auditing the documents referred to in Article 1(1) on behalf of such firms of auditors. Article 28(1) of the Directive provides that EEA States shall ensure that the names and addresses of all natural persons and firms of auditors approved by them to carry out statutory audits of the documents referred to in Article 1(1) of the Directive are made available to the public. Article 28(2) of the Directive provides that certain additional information in respect of each approved firm of auditors is made available to the public.

4.    Failure to take the necessary measures to comply with Articles 1, 5, 7, 23, 45, 51-53, 65(1), 66(1), 66(2), 66(5), 66(6) and 68(2) of the Act referred to in point 12b of Annex IX to the EEA Agreement (Insurance Accounts Directive 91/674/EEC), as adapted by way of Protocol 1 to the EEA Agreement. Liechtenstein was to bring into force the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the Directive, and to inform the Authority forthwith thereof, no later than 1 January 1997.

The Authority has received information from Liechtenstein indicating that national measures considered to ensure partial compliance with the Directive have been adopted. However, the Authority has concluded that the notified measures do not ensure compliance with the Articles mentioned above.

The Insurance Accounts Directive stipulates that certain provisions of the Forth and the Seventh Company Law Directives (78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC) on annual accounts and consolidated accounts shall apply to insurance undertakings. In addition, the Directive includes provisions specific to insurance undertakings in respect of annual accounts and consolidated accounts.

5.    Failure to take the necessary measures to comply with Articles 1, 35(1), 35(3), 37(1), 39, 42 and 43 of the Act referred to in point 21 of Annex IX to the EEA Agreement (Banking Accounts Directive 86/635/EEC), as adapted by way of Protocol 1 to the EEA Agreement. Liechtenstein was to bring into force the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the Directive, and to inform the Authority forthwith thereof, no later than 1 January 1997.

The Authority has received information from Liechtenstein indicating that national measures considered to ensure partial compliance with the Directive have been adopted. However, the Authority has concluded that the notified measures do not ensure compliance with the Articles mentioned above.

The Banking Accounts Directive stipulates that certain provisions of the Forth and the Seventh Company Law Directives (78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC) on annual accounts and consolidated accounts shall apply to credit institutions. In addition, the Directive includes provisions specific to credit institutions in respect of annual accounts and consolidated accounts.

For further information please contact Peter Dyrberg (Legal & Executive Affairs) on tel. (32 2) 286 18 30.




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