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PR(00)08: The EFTA Surveillance Authority adopts new guidelines on state aid in the form of guarantees

16.9.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has adopted new guidelines outlining its position with respect to State aid in the form of guarantees, corresponding to similar guidelines previously adopted by the European Commission. (A new chapter 17 of the State Aid Guidelines, corresponding to the “Commission Notice on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty to State aid in the form of guarantees”, published in OJ C 71, 11.03.2000.)

The guidelines intend to clarify under which conditions State guarantees constitute State aid and consequently have to be notified to and assessed by the Authority. The guidelines also set out how the aid element of a guarantee shall be calculated and outline conditions for exempting such means from the general prohibition against State aid.

According to the guidelines, favourable funding terms obtained by enterprises whose legal form rules out bankruptcy or provides coverage of losses by the State, are considered to be aid in the form of guarantees.

The guidelines will not apply to export-credit guarantees.

The new guidelines will enter into force on the date of their publication in the Official Journal of the European Communities and in the EEA Supplement thereto. Until that date the present guidelines will continue to apply.

For further information please contact Mr. Trond Kvarsvik, telephone (+32) 2 286 18 53.

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