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PR(99)10: The EFTA Surveillance Authority requests Liechtenstein and Norway to comply with EEA rules

27.9.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has sent two Reasoned Opinions to Liechtenstein and four to Norway 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 concerned Governments the opportunity to submit its observations. The purpose of a Reasoned Opinion is to give the States in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides to bring the matter before the EFTA Court.

Liechtenstein:  Failure to fulfil obligations under Article 7 of the EEA Agreement as well as the Act referred to in point 2 of Annex VII to that Agreement  - Lawyers Services Directive (77/249/EEC)

The Lawyers Services Directive sets out measures to facilitate the effective exercise by lawyers of freedom to provide services within the EEA.

The relevant Liechtenstein legislation requires that a provider of legal services has residence in an EEA State, has gained practical experience as a lawyer and has passed an aptitude test.  However, an exemption from the aptitude test is possible.

In the Authority's view these requirements for providing services are not in conformity with the Directive as lawyers should be able to offer services, reserved to lawyers in another EEA State, without any additional requirements or restrictions based on their nationality or the fact that they are established in another EEA State, save where such restrictions are permitted by the Directive.   Therefore an EEA State is not allowed to request a lawyer providing a service under the Directive to pass an aptitude test or show that he has gained some practical experience.  Furthermore, the beneficiaries of the right to provide services can not, prima facie, be obliged to reside within the EEA, although they may be required to be established there.

Liechtenstein:  Failure to take the necessary measures to comply with Article 15 of the Act referred to in point 12 of Annex IX to the EEA Agreement (Second Life Assurance Directive 90/619/EEC), as amended by Article 30 of Council Directive 92/96/EEC.

Liechtenstein was to bring into force the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the Act, and to inform the Authority forthwith thereof, no later than 1 May 1995.  The Authority has received information from Liechtenstein indicating that national measures considered to ensure full compliance with the Act have been adopted. However, it appears that the measures thus notified as already adopted do not ensure compliance with Article 15 of the amended Act.  Article 15 of the amended Act provides, inter alia, that each EEA State shall prescribe that a policy-holder who concludes an individual life-assurance contract shall have a period of between 14 and 30 days from the time when he was informed that the contract had been concluded within which to cancel the contract.

Norway:  Failure to take the necessary measures to comply with Article 15(2), second sentence, of the Act referred to in point 2 of Annex IX to the EEA Agreement (First Non-life Insurance Directive 73/239/EEC), as replaced by Article 17 of Council Directive 92/49/EEC.

Norway was to bring into force the necessary measures to ensure compliance with the amended Act, and to inform the Authority forthwith thereof, no later than 1 July 1994.

The Authority has received information from Norway indicating that national measures considered to ensure partial compliance with the amended Act have been adopted. However, measures to comply with Article 15(2), second sentence, of the amended Act, have not yet been adopted.

Article 15(2), second sentence, of the amended Act stipulates that in respect of risks situated within the European Community, the matching assets covering the technical provisions must be localised within the Community.

Norway:  Failure to notify the necessary measures to fully implement the following Acts relating to medicinal products:

  • the Act referred to in point 9 of Chapter XIII in Annex II to the EEA Agreement concerning Council Directive 89/105/EEC of 21 December 1988 relating to the transparency of measures regulating the pricing of medicinal products for human use and their inclusion in the scope of national health insurance systems,
  • the Act referred to in point 3 of Chapter XIII in Annex II to the EEA Agreement Second Council Directive 75/319/EEC of 20 May 1975 on the approximation of provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action relating to proprietary medicinal products, as last amended by Directive 92/73/EEC,
  •  the Act referred to in point 15b of Chapter XIII in Annex II to the EEA Agreement Council Directive 92/25/EEC of 31 March 1992 on the wholesale distribution of medicinal products for human use.

Norway was to bring into force the necessary national measures to ensure compliance with the Directives, and to notify the Authority forthwith thereof, no later than 1 January 1994 for Directives 89/105/EEC and 75/319/EEC and 1 January 1995 for Directive 92/25/EEC. The Authority has not yet received any written communication from Norway indicating that such measures have been taken.

For further information please contact Helga Ottarsdóttir (Legal & Ececutive Affairs) on tel. (32 2) 286 18 34.

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