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PR(00)17: The EFTA Surveillance Authority requests Iceland and Liechtenstein to comply with EEA rules


During the month of October the EFTA Surveillance Authority has sent three Reasoned Opinions to Iceland and one to Liechtenstein 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 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.

Iceland: Failure to notify the necessary measures to fully implement the following Acts relating to motor vehicles:

  • the Act referred to in point 45x of Chapter I of Annex II and added to point 6 of Chapter X of Annex II to the EEA Agreement (Directive 97/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 1997 on certain components and characteristics of two or three-wheel motor vehicles),
  • the Act added to point 3 of Chapter I of Annex II to the EEA Agreement (Directive 98/69/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 1998 relating to measures to be taken against air pollution by emissions from motor vehicles and amending Council Directive 70/220/EEC),
  • the Act added to point 7 of Chapter I of Annex II to the EEA Agreement (Commission Directive 98/90/EC of 30 November 1998 adapting to technical progress Council Directive 70/387/EEC relating to the doors of motor vehicles and their trailers).

Iceland 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 26 June 1999 for Directive 97/24/EC, 28 September 1999 for Directive 98/69/EC and 6 November 1999 for Directive 98/90/EC. The Authority has not yet received any written communication from Iceland indicating that such measures have been taken.

Liechtenstein: Failure to comply with EEA rules on deposit-guarantee schemes.

Liechtenstein was to bring into force the necessary measures to ensure compliance with Act referred to in point 19a of Annex IX to the EEA Agreement (Directive 94/19/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 1994 on deposit-guarantee schemes), as adapted by way of Protocol 1 to the EEA Agreement, no later than 1 July 1995.

The Authority has received information from Liechtenstein indicating that national measures considered to ensure compliance with the Directive have been adopted. However, the Authority has concluded that the notified measures do not ensure compliance with Articles 4(1) -second sentence, 4(2)-4(4) and 14(1) of the Directive.

The Deposit-Guarantee-Schemes Directive (94/19/EC), as incorporated in the EEA Agreement, lays down the obligation for EEA States to ensure that within their territories one or more deposit-guarantee schemes for credit institutions are introduced and officially recognised. The membership of such a scheme is mandatory for all credit institutions in the EEA. Article 4(2) of the Directive stipulates that where the cover offered by a host EEA State scheme exceeds the cover provided in the EEA State in which a credit institution is authorised, the host EEA State shall ensure that there is an officially recognised deposit-guarantee scheme within its territory which a branch may join voluntarily in order to supplement the guarantee which its depositors already enjoy by virtue of its membership of its home EEA State scheme. Articles 4(3)-4(4) stipulate that EEA States shall ensure that objective and generally applied conditions for membership of a host EEA State’s scheme are established and complied with.

The Liechtenstein Government is requested to take the necessary measures to comply with the Reasoned Opinion within three months following notification thereof.

For further information please contact Mr. Peter Dyrberg, telephone (+32) 2 286 18 30. 

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