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Subject: Notification of VAT zero rating for electronic news services

The Norwegian Government hereby notifies to the EFTA Surveillance Authority a measure relating to Value Added Tax (VAT) on electronic news services

Pursuant to Part I Article 1 (3) and Part II Article 2 of Protocol 3 to the Surveillance and Court Agreement, the Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Norwegian Government hereby notifies to the EFTA Surveillance Authority a measure relating to Value Added Tax (VAT) on electronic news services. The measure is neither adopted nor in force.

The notified measure concerns VAT zero rating for electronic news services. The existing legislation concerning VAT zero rating for print newspapers is not a part of the notification. The notified measure entails all electronic news services, including broadcast and on-demand news services. The measure is described further in the notification attached.

It is the Government's principal position that zero rating for electronic news services does not fulfil the selectivity criterion and consequently does not constitute state aid within the meaning of article 61 (1) of the EEA Agreement. However, we acknowledge that the measure may constitute state aid, cf. the view taken by the Authority in decision 150/15/COL. The Ministry subsidiary argues that the measure is compatible with the functioning of the EEA Agreement according to Article 61(3). See detailed assessment in the notification attached.

The Ministry hopes that the provided information will enable the Authority to assess the notified measure.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if further information or documentation is needed.

Yours sincerely

Tor Land
Deputy Director General                                                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                Grethe H. Dahl
                                                                   Legal Adviser 

Attachment: 
Notification VAT zero rating for electronic news services Standard notification form