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State Aid

PR(09)63: A proposed exemption from the Norwegian CO2 tax on the use of natural gas and LPG is not compatible with the EEA Agreement

23.7.2009

The EFTA Surveillance Authority today concluded, after a formal investigation, that a proposed exemption from the Norwegian CO2 tax for the use of natural gas and LPG for all purposes other than the heating of buildings, is not in line with the EEA competition rules.

The Norwegian authorities had planned to amend their existing CO2 tax legislation to extend its scope to natural gas and LPG, while simultaneously exempting taxation on their consumption in all situations except for heating of buildings.  

The Authority, however, has concluded that taxation in such a form would constitute state aid to those who benefit from the exemption which cannot be justified under the EEA Agreement as it is not compatible with the Authority's Environmental Aid Guidelines. It is the view of the Authority that compatibility with the Guidelines in this case would require that the minimum level of taxation specified in the European Community's Energy Taxation Directive (or equivalent measures) must be imposed upon those who benefit from the exemption.

Although the Energy Taxation Directive has not been incorporated into the EEA Agreement, the Authority has applied the same points of reference as those contained in the Community guidelines when assessing the compatibility of state aid with the functioning of the EEA Agreement. This is done in order to ensure uniform application of state aid provisions and equal conditions of competition throughout the EEA.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Dylan Hughes
Officer
, Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 80, or

Per Andreas Bjørgan
Director
, Competition and State Aid Directorate
Tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 32

 

Brussels, 23 July 2009




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