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PR(03)05: The EFTA Surveillance Authority decided to amend its decision of 4 December 2002 proposing appropriate measures to Norway with regard to state aid in the form of guarantees under the Act of State Enterprises

9.4.2003

By decision of 4 December 2002, the EFTA Surveillance Authority proposed, as an appropriate measure, that Norway take the necessary measures to eliminate any incompatible aid resulting from the Act on State Enterprises (“Lov om Statsforetak”) with effect from 1 January 2003.

The Norwegian Government communicated to the Authority the measures it intended to take in order to implement the Authority’s decision.

The measures to be taken by the Norwegian Government include in particular the obligation for State enterprises to pay a guarantee premium for the continued State guarantee on all the enterprise’s existing loan obligations.  The guarantee premium which will be set with effect from 1 January 2003 will be based on an assessment of the benefits resulting from the State guarantee with respect to each individual loan.

On the other hand, as regards State enterprises’ obligations not linked to specific loans, the Norwegian Government informed the Authority that, contrary to the initial proposal regarding the amendment of the Act on State Enterprises, it would propose to abolish the State’s unlimited liability in this respect.  Given the required legislative process, the Authority agreed that the time limit set for complying with the appropriate measures as proposed in its decision of 4 December 2002 should be extended to the time necessary to terminate this process, but not later than 31 July 2003.

The Norwegian Government is asked to signify its agreement to the amended proposal for appropriate measures and to communicate to the Authority the legislative, administrative or other measures taken in order to comply with the amended proposal not later than 30 June 2003.

For further information please contact Mr. Amund Utne on tel. + 32 2 286 18 50 or Mrs. Alexandra Antoniadis on tel. +32 2 286 18 52.

9 April 2003




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