The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) has prevailed in its challenge that subsidies received by Norway’s Hurtigruten from the Norwegian government are illegal, according to sources. Hurtigruten and Norway appealed the challenge, but lost.
EFTA challenged the subsidies on the grounds that they not only support Hurtigruten’s transportation services along the coast of Norway, but also the company’s tourism and cruise product. According to EFTA, these services should have been kept separate.
As of Jan. 1, 2012, Norway entered into a new agreement with Hurtigruten said to be worth NOK 5.1 billion for running the daily coastal service between Bergen and Kirkenes from 2012 to 2019. EFTA will allow a portion of the subsidy.