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PR(04)25: The EFTA Surveillance Authority delivers reasoned opinions to Norway and Liechtenstein for incorrect implementation of the Directive concerning draft technical regulations


On 7 July 2004 the EFTA Surveillance Authority delivered two reasoned opinions, one to Norway and one to Liechtenstein, for incorrect implementation of Directive 98/34/EC as amended by Directive 98/48/EC, the so called Draft Technical Regulations Directive.

The Draft Technical Regulations Directive aims at providing transparency and to prevent the creation of new unjustified barriers to trade. The Directive, as adapted for the purpose of the EEA Agreement, sets up a procedure which imposes an obligation upon the EFTA States to notify to the Authority draft technical regulations concerning products and provisions relating to the Information Society Services at a draft stage before they are adopted in national law.

Upon notification of a draft technical regulation, a standstill period of three months starts. This period gives the Authority, other EFTA States as well as the European Commission an opportunity to examine the text in order to reveal whether the draft provisions are likely to create new barriers to trade, or would conflict with secondary EEA legislation in force.  The notifying EFTA States is during the same time period obliged to postpone the adoption of the national legal text.

Norway has implemented the Draft Technical Regulations Directive by means of an administrative circular, which does not form part of the Norwegian legal order. This does not, in the Authority’s view, constitute sufficient implementing measures. In Liechtenstein, the Draft Technical Regulations Directive has been implemented by an Internal Instruction. This form chosen for implementing the Directive does neither, according to the Authority, ensure legal certainty nor ensure that the Directive is fully effective in accordance with the objective which it pursues.

The purpose for the reasoned opinions are to give the States in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides whether to bring the matters before the EFTA Court. With regard to these reasoned opinions the Authority requests that the States concerned take the necessary measures to comply with the reasoned opinions within three months.


For further information, please contact Mr. Niels Fenger, Director of Legal & Executive Affairs, telephone (+32)(0)2 286 18 30

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