The Authority welcomes information from interested parties concerning potential infringements of the EEA state aid rules, in the form of market information or formal complaints.
Formal complaints are an important source of information. Formal complaints may be lodged by any interested party, including competitors and trade associations. The role of the Authority is not to address the individual concerns of complainants, but to ensure that the EFTA States comply with the state aid rules. Therefore, complainants are not parties to the state aid procedures. To have individual concerns addressed, complainants have the option of bringing cases of unlawful aid before the national courts. Economic operators or their legal representatives are welcome to contact the Authority informally with a view to discussing whether there are grounds for making a formal complaint.
Formal complaints can be drafted in any of the official languages of the EFTA States or of the EU. However, the working language of the Authority is English, therefore, the use of languages other than English may delay the handling of a complaint. Complainants can have their identity kept confidential by the Authority. The Authority occasionally forward complaints to the EFTA States for comments. In case a complainant wishes to have their identity kept confidential by the Authority, or in case a complaint contains other confidential information, providing a non-confidential version of the complaint helps the Authority process it more efficiently. All complaints should be accompanied by the complaint form and be sent in to the Authority in electronic form only by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit any annexes also in electronic form only, and in a searchable format. Should you wish to submit a complaint by other means, please contact the Authority first.
After a preliminary assessment of a formal complaint, the Authority will decide whether or not to take further action. The Authority may also decide to take further action, but assign a low priority to the complaint. The priority may depend on factors such as the scope of the alleged infringement, the size of the beneficiary, the economic sector concerned or the existence of similar complaints. The Authority will normally inform the complainant of the status of the case within two months. Complainants will also be informed of the closure of the complaint, and may be contacted during the processing of the case. The Authority aims to process complaints within 12 months.
For further information about the Authority's procedures in state aid matters, reference is made to the Surveillance and Court Agreement Protocol 3, part II and the Authority's Guidelines on Best Practice for the conduct of state aid control procedures.