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State Aid

State Aid: Norway must change the financing of Kippermoen fitness centre

27.2.2013

PR(13)17

The Norwegian authorites must take certain appropriate measures in order to bring the financing of the fitness centre at the Kippermoen Leisure Centre in line with the state aid provisions of the EEA Agreement. This is proposed by the EFTA Surveilance Authority in a decision adopted today.

The Norwegian authorities now have until 27 March 2013 to decide whether to accept the measures proposed by the Authority.

The Authority considers that the transparancy of the financing of the fitness centre needs to be improved in order to comply with the state aid rules of the EEA Agreement. The Norwegian authorities have therefore agreed to require separate accounts to be kept for the fitness centre and for other activities of the Kippermoen Leasure Centre to ensure that the fitness centre covers its own costs. Furthermore, the Norwegian authorities have agreed that they should require a normal return on its investment in the fitness centre.

In addition, the Authority has concluded that the Norwegian authorities may continue to provide financial support to the fitness centre when it provides discounted access to youths aged 15-20, students, refugees, individuals living below the poverty line and individuals in need of reconvalescent treatment. This state financing does not constitute state aid as it represents compensation for a public service that is deemed not to distort competition and affect trade between EEA States.[1]

The Kippermoen Leisure Centre was established in the 1970s. The centre is owned by the municipality of Vefsn and is located in the city of Mosjøen. While the users of the fintess centre are mainly local residents, the fitness sector in Norway is as such recognised by cross border investment, ownership and establishment. The Authority has therefore concluded that aid to fitness centres may affect competition and trade within the EEA.

A public version of today's decision will be published on the Authority's website, normally within a month.

 

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187



[1] The financing does not constitute state aid as it complies with the so-called SGEI de minimis Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 360/2012, incorporated into the EEA Agreement at point 1ha of its Annex XV).




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