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Iceland in breach of EEA rules on non-compliant ships entering its ports

Christian Fernsby ▼ | October 19, 2020
The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has sent a reasoned opinion to Iceland for not allowing penalties to be imposed on all non-compliant ships entering Icelandic ports.
Iceland port
EEA   Iceland port
This is a breach of EEA rules.

Topics: Iceland

In its reasoned opinion, ESA concludes that Icelandic law does not allow for penalties to be imposed for all violations of international standards by ships in EEA ports.

The Icelandic Government is not able to impose administrative fines under the current Icelandic system of penalties, since such fines are not covered by the country’s General Ship Survey Act.

Since 2017, Iceland has repeatedly informed ESA that a legislative amendment would be necessary for the Icelandic authorities to impose administrative penalties on ship operators not complying with certain requirements of the port state control directive. To this day, no such legislative amendment has been adopted.

A reasoned opinion is the second step in ESA's formal infringement procedure against Iceland. The Icelandic government is now given two months to express its views, after which ESA may decide to refer the case to the EFTA Court.

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) monitors compliance with European Economic Area rules in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, enabling them to participate in the European Internal Market.