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State Aid

PR(08)49: The Authority approves tax exemption scheme to support reduction of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions


Today the Authority decided to approve a NOx tax exemption scheme proposed by the Norwegian authorities to provide the possibility for undertakings to obtain a full exemption from taxes on NOx emissions.

From 1 January 2007, the Norwegian Parliament introduced a tax of NOK 15 per kilogram of emission of NOx. The tax was introduced in order to enable Norway to fulfil its commitment to reduce national emissions under the Gothenburg Protocol on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution.

The exemption scheme was introduced in order to achieve a more efficient reduction of NOx emissions. Pursuant to the scheme, 14 business organizations concluded an environmental agreement with the Norwegian State under which it is possible for individual undertakings to gain full exemption from the tax, and instead pay a contribution into a privately run fund.

The private fund allocates its financial resources among individual participating undertakings to ensure that collectively, the reduction target of 30,000 tonnes is met.

The Authority concluded that the exemption constituted state aid but that the scheme was compatible with the functioning of the EEA Agreement on the basis of the Authority’s Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection.

The decision will be published in the EEA Section of the Official Journal of the European Union and the EEA Supplement thereto. Moreover, for information purposes the decision will also be published on the Authority’s website

For further information, please contact:

Mr Amund Utne,
Director, Competition and State aid Directorate,
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 30, or

Mr Justin Menezes,
Senior Officer, Competition and State aid Directorate,
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 84. or

Mrs Marianne Clayton
Officer, Competition and State aid Directorate,
tel. ((+32)(0)2 286 18 23


16 July 2008

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