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PR(00)19: The EFTA Surveillance Authority requests Norway to comply with EEA rules on the choice of assets that need not be used as cover for technical provisions established by insurance undertakings

17.9.2002

On 7 December 2000, the EFTA Surveillance Authority sent two Reasoned Opinions in the field of Insurance to Norway for failure 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 Norwegian 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 whether to bring the matter before the EFTA Court.

Norway was to bring into force the necessary measures to ensure compliance with Acts referred to in points 2 and 11 of Annex IX to the EEA Agreement (First Non-life Insurance Directive 73/239/EEC and First Life Assurance Directive 79/267/EEC) as amended no later than 1 July 1994.

The Authority has received information from Norway indicating that national measures considered to ensure compliance with the Directives have been adopted. However, the Authority has concluded that the notified measures do not ensure compliance with the amended Article 18(1) of the First Non-life Insurance Directive and the amended Article 21(1) of the First Life Assurance Directive. These provisions stipulate that EEA States shall not prescribe any rules as to the choice of the assets that need not be used as cover for the technical provisions.

Section 7-2 of the Norwegian Law on Insurance Activity provides that an insurance company may not own or by voting represent more than 15% of the shares or parts of a company which conducts activities that according to Section 7-1 of the same Law may not be conducted by an insurance company.

In its Reasoned Opinions, the Authority declares that by maintaining such a national rule, Norway has failed to comply with the amended Article 18(1) of the First Non-life Insurance Directive and the amended Article 21(1) of the First Life Assurance Directive. The Norwegian Government is requested to take the necessary measures to comply with the Reasoned Opinions within three months following notification thereof.

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

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