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PR(03)06: The EFTA Surveillance Authority delivers reasoned opinions to Iceland for non-implementation of Council Directive 91/67/EEC concerning the placing on the market of aquaculture animals and products


On 11 April 2003, the EFTA Surveillance Authority delivered four reasoned opinions to Iceland due to that country’s failure to adopt the national rules necessary in order to implement Council Directive 91/67/EEC as amended by Directives 93/54/EEC, 95/22/EC and 98/45/EC.

Directive 91/67/EEC as amended and as incorporated into the EEA Agreement, requires the Contracting Parties to that Agreement to implement provisions for the placing on the market of aquaculture animals and products.

Additionally, the Directive establishes the criteria according to which control programmes drawn up by the EEA States for certain diseases, can be approved by the Authority. The Directive also sets the criteria according to which an EEA State can obtain the status of approved zone, or approved farm in a non-approved zone, regarding certain diseases. Such approval can only be granted after the provisions of the Directive are fully implemented by the EEA State.

The date by which Iceland should have complied with the provisions of Directive 91/67/EEC and two of the amending acts was 1 January 1999. For the third amending act the compliance date was 26 June 1999. For certain parts of the Directive, however, Iceland has had a transitional period during which national rules could continue to apply. This transitional period ended on 30 June 2002.

On 18 November 2002, the Authority sent a letter of formal notice to Iceland for failing to adopt and failing to inform the Authority of the adoption of, measures necessary to implement Directive 91/67/EEC into its national legal order. Letters of formal notice for the amending acts were also sent during 2002.

The Authority has so far not received any information enabling it to conclude that Iceland has implemented Directive 91/67/EEC as amended. The Authority, therefore, decided to deliver the reasoned opinions to Iceland.

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. Iceland has been given two months to take the necessary measures to comply with the reasoned opinion.

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

14 April 2003

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