British wool companies believe that the Norwegian wool subsidy scheme is incompatible with the rules of the EEA Agreement and have filed a complaint with the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA).
G. Modiano Limited and Standard Wool have submitted the complaint to ESA through an English and a Norwegian law firm. The companies believe that the Norwegian subsidy scheme violates the EEA Agreement’s state aid rules, reports Dagens Næringsliv.
ESA, the EEA monitoring body, confirmed that they have received the complaint and said they are waiting for answers from the Norwegian authorities. The Ministry of Agriculture has till December 9 to respond to the allegations.
In recent years, law firm Thommessen on behalf of its English clients, has had a dialogue with the Ministry of Agriculture about the support given to Norwegian wool producers as well as the subsidy scheme to exporters and whether it is compatible with the EEA agreement’s state aid rules.
In a letter to the law firm in December 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture wrote that they believed the wool subsidy is legal because it existed before the EEA agreement entered into force in 1994, reports Dagens Næringsliv.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture, 4 billion kroner has been paid out in grants since 1993.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today