Public access to documents

Access to documents handled by the EFTA Surveillance Authority is regulated under its Rules on access to documents.

archive-listThe main rule is that documents should be publicly available. An applicant can ask for public access to any document and the applicant is not obliged to state any reason for the access request.

There are, however, some exemptions to the main rule, which gives ESA a right to refuse disclosure of certain documents. Most of these exemptions are found in Article 4 of the rules. If access to a document is denied, ESA must refer to the exemptions.

Both ESA's Document register and the Minutes of the College meetings will provide information on what cases ESA is handling at any time. Both are published weekly (apart from the summer recess period) on ESA's website.

Before you request access to a document, please check whether the document is already available for download in the Public Document Database. Whenever ESA grants access to a document, it will be uploaded to this searchable database. The database, launched on 11 April 2013, also contains public documents from previous years.

All access requests should be addressed to the Registry of ESA by e-mail or letter to the following address:

EFTA Surveillance Authority
Rue Belliard 35
B-1040 Brussels



ESA will send the applicant an acknowledgement of receipt upon receiving the access request. As a general rule, ESA will grant access or give reasons for any refusal within 10 working days after the acknowledgement of receipt.

In case of refusal (full or partial), the applicant may make a confirmatory application asking ESA to reconsider its position. ESA shall then adopt a final decision on the matter, which the applicant can appeal to the EFTA Court.

In cases where ESA consults third parties, the time-limit may be suspended, for the documents concerned and for as long as the consultation is pending. ESA shall inform the applicant of any such suspension as quickly as possible, and ESA shall endeavour to complete any such consultation within a reasonable time

In the event of an application relating to a particularly large document or to a substantial number of documents, the time limit set to handle the request may be extended by 30 working days.

For more information see ESA's Rules on access to documents.

Overview of public holidays where ESA is closed can be found under contact us

Other EEA Institutions

This website is built with Eplica CMS