The EEA Agreement's government support rules are stricter and more detailed than the WTO rules. The starting point is that all competition-distorting government support to industry within the EU/EEA is prohibited, but there are some exceptions. When the public sector provides guarantees on market-based terms, the guarantees are not counted as government support. There are clear guidelines defining market-based terms in the context of state guarantees. These do not apply to export credit guarantees (which are regulated by the OECD, see below), but when GIEK issues a building loan guarantee, for example, it does so in accordance with the guidelines. This reduces the guarantee recipient’s risk of being confronted with demands to repay illegal support. The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) monitors Norway’s and the other members’ compliance with the EEA Agreement.

EFTA's guidelines