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PR(01)27: The EFTA Surveillance Authority sends three reasoned opinions for non-implementation of a directive in the field of consumer protection

18.9.2002

The EFTA Surveillance Authority has sent a Reasoned Opinions to each of the EFTA States, Contracting Parties to the EEA Agreement, namely Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, for failure to adopt national rules in order to implement Directive 98/27/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 1998 on injunctions for the protection of consumers’ interests.

Directive 98/27/EC, as incorporated into the EEA Agreement, asks the Contracting Parties to that Agreement to introduce into their legal orders mechanisms for ensuring that infringements harmful to the collective interests of consumers be terminated in good time. This Directive ensures that infringements to Directives incorporated into the EEA in the field of consumer protection can be efficiently terminated at national level. To fulfill this aim, the Directive approximates national rules relating to actions for an injunction before courts and/or administrative authorities for the protection of the collective interests of consumers. While ensuring the smooth functioning of the internal market, such measures are also aimed at increasing confidence of consumers in that market.

The time limit required by Directive 98/27/EC, as incorporated into the EEA Agreement, to transpose those measures in the EFTA States was 1 January 2001.

On 15 March 2001, the Authority sent letters of formal notice to the three EFTA States for failing to adopt, or failing to inform the Authority of the adoption of, measures necessary to implement Directive 98/27/EC into their respective national legal orders.

All three EFTA States have so far admitted that they have failed to implement Directive 98/27/EC and that prospects to do so are unlikely to happen in 2001.

In those circumstances, the Authority decided to send a Reasoned Opinion to each of the EFTA States.

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. Each EFTA State has been given three months to take the necessary measures to comply with the Reasoned Opinions.

For further information please contact Mr. Peter Dyrberg, Director of the Legal and Executive Affairs Department, telephone (32)-2-286-1830.

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