Asset Management | Norway introduces regulatory fees for marketing of AIFs and UCITS

On 26 May 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance adopted a regulation enabling the Norwegian regulator – Finanstilsynet – to levy regulatory fees in respect of cross-border activities into Norway of non-Norwegian alternative investment fund and UCITS managers. One-time fees will apply from 2024, while ongoing fees likely will be levied from H2 2023.

1. Marketing funds into Norway

As a member state of the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway has implemented the UCITS and AIFM directives. Norway has not yet implemented the Cross-border Distribution of Funds rules or the PRIIPS regulation. Rules implementing the former have been adopted, and will likely enter into effect in the coming months.

Funds managed by EU AIFMs may be marketed based on the passport rules of the AIFMD. There are no rules allowing for marketing by sub-threshold managers (other than EuVECA-managers).

AIFs established outside the EEA may be marketed in Norway subject to prior authorisation under the national private placement rules. Pre-marketing will not be made available for managers of such funds when the Norwegian rules implementing the Cross-border Distribution of Funds rules come into force.

UCITS funds may be marketed based on the passport rules of the UCITS directive.

Marketing of interests in AIFs to non-professional investors requires prior authorisation from the regulator.

Pre-marketing is currently unregulated, meaning that activities that do not constitute “marketing” do not trigger any regulatory registration or licensing requirements.

Norway has not had any regulatory fees in respect of passporting or marketing under the national private placement rules – meaning that Norwegian AIFMs and UCITS management companies in practice have had to shoulder the costs of the regulator through the annual fees they pay.

2. Regulatory fees for non-Norwegian AIFMs and UCITS

The Ministry of Finance has amended rules governing the levy of supervisory fees by the Norwegian regulator. Under the new rules

  • One-off fees will be levied upon

– application for authorisation to market AIFs under the national private placement regime

– filing for marketing under the marketing passport of the AIFMD and UCITS directive

  • On-going (annual) fees will be levied for the maintenance of the national register of funds registered for marketing.

Oddly, the rules do not address any future regulatory fee for pre-marketing notifications under the AIFMD. This may however be addressed through a simple amendment to the regulation, without legislative amendments.

The rules allowing for on-going (annual) fees will enter into effect on 1 June 2023, while the rules concerning one-off fees will enter into effect on 1 January 2024.

Under the regulation, one-off fees are capped at 30 000 NOK (approx. 2 600 €), with a minimum set at 5 000 NOK. The annual fee is capped at 10 000 NOK (approx. 840 €).

During the previous consultation, the FSAN proposed the following fee levels.

  • Registration passporting under AIFMD or UCITS: 5 000 NOK
  • “Article 36” NPPR applications: 10 000 NOK
  • “Article 42” NPPR applications: 15 000 NOK
  • Application for marketing of AIFs to retail investors: 20 000 NOK
  • Annual fee of 7 000 NOK per fund

Fees will likely be somewhat higher, as the consultation was carried out in 2019.

It may be added that the regulation also will allow for levying regulatory fees for registration of Norwegian insurance intermediaries of insurers established in another EEA member state, and Norwegian tied agents of investment firms established in another EEA member state (for both, the FSAN has proposed a one-off fee of 5000 NOK and annual fee of 10 000 NOK).

Dispute Resolution | Shipping | NOMA has introduced new Mediation Rules and a Model Mediation Agreement

When a dispute arises, many assume that legal proceedings – in court or arbitration – is the next step. However, settling a dispute without going to court is often the best solution, both to save time and costs, and to preserve commercial relationships.

Achieving a settlement outside the courtroom can be done in several ways. Entering into private negotiations with the counterparty before court or arbitral proceedings are commenced, is one option. Participation in judicial or extrajudicial mediation, with assistance from the ordinary courts, arbitral institutions, or independent mediators, are others.

For lawsuits that have been filed with the ordinary courts, we see an increased use of court administered mediation, and an increased percentage of settlements. This is partly due to targeted efforts by the courts. Judges in many of the Norwegian courts specialise in mediation, and some of the larger district courts have specific guidelines for mediation of larger commercial disputes.

As mentioned in our newsletter on so-called “escalation clauses”, we also see an increased use of mediation prior to arbitral proceedings. Commercial agreements with arbitration clauses increasingly include an obligation to attempt to solve a case amicably before arbitral proceedings can be commenced. The trend of increased mediation efforts is reflected in the introduction of mediation rules by various arbitral institutions.

Negotiations and dialogue usually bring the parties closer together – even if the situation seems deadlocked. Therefore, the traction for negotiation and mediation efforts prior to the more formal legal proceedings is welcomed.

On 3 April 2023, the Nordic Offshore and Maritime Arbitration Association (NOMA) introduced a set of Mediation Rules and a Model Mediation Agreement. The purpose is to facilitate a settlement, even if an arbitration has been initiated. NOMA’s Mediation Rules are in general more extensive and detailed than the mediation rules of most other relevant international and Nordic arbitral institutions.


NOMA was established in November 2017 on the initiative of the Nordic countries’ Maritime Law Associations, with the purpose to promote transparent and cost-efficient arbitrations for disputes within the maritime and offshore industry. The background for establishing NOMA was that traditional arbitration institutions such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) were perceived as too rigid and not compatible with the more flexible Nordic legal tradition. Even though the dispute resolution products NOMA provides are primarily aimed at disputes within the maritime and offshore industry, NOMA’s rules are formulated so that they can be applied in all commercial disputes, regardless of industry.

NOMA provides a set of Arbitration Rules and Best Practice Guidelines, as well as Fast Track Rules, which aim at providing a certain degree of flexibility and party autonomy, while at the same time promoting transparency and foreseeability in the process. Although NOMA’s recommended Arbitration Clause is not a so-called “escalation clause”, the Best Practice Guidelines, which shall be “taken into account” according to the recommended Arbitration Clause, encourage the parties to consider appointing a mediator and to allocate time during the case preparation for mediation/settlement discussions.

The NOMA Mediation Rules and the Model Mediation Agreement are expected to be an important addition to NOMA’s existing products for efficient and transparent dispute resolution. The Mediation Rules aim at providing the parties with a balanced, specific and practical approach to establish an effective and transparent mediation.

The NOMA Mediation Rules

The NOMA Mediation Rules provide a structured approach to mediation with the purpose to facilitate amicable solutions and settlements of disputes. The rules will apply when the parties have agreed to refer their dispute to NOMA Mediation or to mediation in accordance with the NOMA Mediation Rules.

The NOMA Mediation Rules consist of 22 articles and are aligned with UNCITRAL’s Mediation Rules (2021). As the NOMA Mediation Rules are based on “best practice” and UNCITRAL’s Mediation Rules, many of the provisions are somewhat similar to the corresponding provisions of the mediation rules of other arbitral institutions.

That said, the NOMA Mediation Rules contain more detailed regulations on several topics than the mediation rules of most other arbitral institutions, such as the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) Mediation Rules (2023), the Oslo Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Mediation Rules (2017), the Danish Institute of Arbitration (DIA) Rules on Mediation (2015) and the ICC Mediation Rules (2014). The more detailed regulation is particularly connected to the preparation and conduct of the mediation and could facilitate for a more efficient and streamlined mediation process. This may be useful for parties who are not so familiar with mediation procedures.

Upon appointment of the mediator (or mediators), the parties and the mediator shall enter into a mediation agreement addressing the relevant formalities of the mediation. While the mediation rules of certain other arbitral institutions, such as the OCC Mediation Rules, also arrange for such an agreement to be entered into, NOMA has provided a Model Mediation Agreement that can be used for this purpose. The Model Mediation Agreement addresses the relevant formalities of the mediation, such as fees and costs, impartiality, preparation and performance of the mediation, and appears to be a valuable component to secure an orderly and effective mediation.

The NOMA Mediation Rules facilitate for a Mediation Management Conference (MMC) to be held to clarify and agree on practical aspects of the mediation and list a number of items to be addressed in the MMC. In addition to mere formalities such as the time and place for the mediation, the NOMA Mediation Rules also facilitate for the parties to discuss inter alia the schedule for submissions, presentation of help-documents, and the use of witnesses and experts. The mediation rules of many of the other arbitral institutions also provide for some sort of preparatory meeting, however, it is only the NOMA Mediation Rules and the OCC Mediation Rules that contain a detailed plan for the items to be discussed and agreed on in such meeting, with the NOMA Mediation Rules containing the more extensive list. It is our opinion that the items to be addressed in the MMC according to the NOMA Mediation Rules, will provide for a streamlined process.

The NOMA Mediation Rules also contain a more detailed regulation of the submission of documents than the mediation rules of most other (relevant) arbitral institutions. The parties shall prepare a joint summary of the dispute and/or a joint set of documentation to be submitted to the mediator, which outlines the issues in the dispute between the parties and describes the key facts and key legal arguments. If arbitration or other legal proceedings have already commenced, the parties may agree that the statement of claim and the statement of defence and later pleadings shall be used as mediation submissions. The parties are under an obligation to co-operate, and in good faith comply with any reasonable request for additional documentation and information from the mediator(s).

The NOMA Mediation Rules further provide a quite detailed regulation of the main principles and a suggested framework for how a NOMA Mediation shall be conducted. The overall goal of the regulation seems to be securing a clear role understanding and the mediator’s neutrality. If desired, the parties and the mediator(s) may agree on other principles.

If the parties reach a settlement, a settlement agreement shall be entered into for the settlement to be legally binding between the parties. Furthermore, the parties may agree to appoint the mediator as an arbitrator and request him or her to confirm the settlement agreement in an arbitral award, which renders the settlement enforceable in most jurisdiction under the New York Convention.

Whereas for instance the SCC Mediation Rules (2023) and the ICC Mediation Rules (2014) provide fixed and predictable fees for the mediator(s), the NOMA Mediation Rules contain no equivalent regulations. The relevant rates for the fees to be paid to the mediator(s) are assumed agreed on in the mediation agreement. However, either party may refer the mediator’s statement of fees and expenses to NOMA for review.

BAHR’s view

We consider the NOMA Mediation Rules to be a valuable addition to the products NOMA offers, especially in light of the benefits mediation efforts have when disputes arise, and the increasing use of mediation prior to arbitration. While it is beneficial to have a large degree of flexibility in a mediation process, we believe that the more detailed and extensive regulation of the mediation process in the NOMA Mediation Rules provides this whilst at the same time providing useful input and a solid framework for the mediation. As the NOMA Mediation Rules are not specific for or limited to disputes in the maritime- and offshore industry, or disputes subject to the NOMA arbitration rules, they also provide suitable rules that parties to other disputes can agree on to ensure an efficient and adequate mediation process. We also expect to see that some of the more detailed ― and expedient ― regulations that the NOMA Mediation Rules and Model Mediation Agreement provide will influence the mediation rules of other arbitral institutions, in the same way that we have previously seen that NOMA’s CMC Matrix and Best Practice Guidelines have done.


Technology | eIDAS in the Changing Digital Landscape: Advancements and Implications

The European Commission has proposed exciting changes to the regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (“eIDAS”) in order to keep pace with technological advancements and to address the challenges posed by its structural inadequacies and low adoption. The proposal seeks to create a framework that establishes a single European digital identity in the form of a digital wallet, with an aim of achieving an adoption rate of 80% among EU citizens by 2030. The regulation will affect a wide range of services offered by both public bodies and private businesses and will create new cross-border business opportunities.

What is the eIDAS? 

The eIDAS entered into force in 2014 and was the first digital identity legislation in the EU to provide the basis for cross-border electronic identification (“eID”) throughout the EU. The regulation defines the types of electronic signatures and regulates the different types of trust services such as:  

  • Time stamping 
  • Certified email services 
  • The creation, verification, and validation of certificates for website authentication  
  • Electronic documents  
  • Identification and authentication mechanisms, their levels and their interoperability between member states  

In 2021 the European Commission (“Commission”) proposed several changes to the eIDAS due to the challenges raised by its structural shortcomings, limited implementation and the technological developments since its adoption in 2014. The proposed changes also aim to create a European digital identity framework that enables the creation and establishment of a trusted and secure way to authenticate and share qualified data attributes online through a “digital wallet” ensured by member states and allowing transactions across the EU.  

The proposal has been well received, both in terms of objectives and scope. It would also execute the European Council’s vision and explicit request for an EU-wide secure public eID, which would include interoperable digital signatures and give EU citizens control over their online identity and related data. However, there are concerns regarding the roles and liabilities for various public and private actors, ensuring adequate data protection, and ensuring widespread use in the EU.


Key amendments 

There are several proposed changes to the eIDAS outlined in the proposal documents approved by the European Council. These changes cover areas such as assurance levels, notification, certification, the implementation period, access to hardware and software features, issuance of electronic attestation of attributes by public sector bodies and record matching.  

One of the key amendments in the proposal is making it mandatory for each EU member state to provide EU digital identity wallets to all citizens free of charge, as opposed to the current situation in which eID schemes are voluntary. Furthermore, if member states require electronic identification and authentication through national law or administrative practice when accessing online services provided by a public sector body, they must also accept the European digital identity wallets issued in accordance with the eIDAS. Similarly, this also applies to private parties who are obligated by national or Union law or by contractual obligation to use strong user authentication for online identification, including in areas such as: 

  • Transport 
  • Energy 
  • Banking and financial services 
  • Social security 
  • Health 
  • Digital infrastructure 
  • Education



The next step to the adoption of the proposed eIDAS is for the European Parliament to finish negotiating the proposal with the European Council on the final form and wording of the legislation. Although the new eIDAS does not yet have an expected date of approval, it will likely be approved in 2023, since the EU has stated that it plans for the wallet to be released in 2024. The proposal is currently being assessed in the EEA/EFTA countries. 


BAHR’s view 

The forthcoming implementation of the new eIDAS regulation is poised to bring about a substantial transformation for public bodies, private businesses, and citizens across the European Union. The envisaged European digital identity wallet has the potential to facilitate faster, safer, and more efficient interactions for all stakeholders. In anticipation of the regulation’s rollout, a growing number of businesses are actively developing digital wallets and related products and services to position themselves advantageously for the opportunity to serve the European market. As a result, the introduction of eIDAS is expected to create a considerable push for innovation and competition among providers of digital wallet solutions, generating benefits for consumers and businesses alike. 

Compliance | What to report under the Norwegian Transparency Act? Part 4: Mitigating measures

The first reporting deadline under the Norwegian Transparency Act (Nw. Åpenhetsloven) (“Transparency Act”) is approaching quickly. Our first newsletter addresses the questions “why”, “how”, “where” and “when”. But what to report? In addition to providing an overview of the business and the adverse impacts and risks as discussed in our previous newsletters, Part 2 and Part 3, companies are required to provide information on the mitigating measures addressing adverse impacts on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions.

More specifically, companies are required to provide the following:

  • Information on the measures they have implemented or are planning to implement to cease or limit actual and potential adverse impacts on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions.
    In its guidance, the Consumer Authority lists some examples of measures that may typically be described here:

    • Systems that are in place to handle complaints
    • Industry-wide collaborations to solve common challenges
    • Dialogue with risk-stakeholders such as indigenous peoples
    • Remediation mechanisms to address actual adverse impacts


  • Information on the results that were achieved or expected by these measures.
    As a minimum, companies need to describe how the measures have contributed to reducing or are expected to reduce the risk for adverse impacts or remedy actual adverse impacts.


Practical insights

Link measures to the relevant risks

Although many measures may have a positive effect on a number of potential adverse impacts, we recommend ensuring that the report clearly identifies the connection between the measures and the company’s significant risks. In addition, some risks and adverse impacts are inherently more difficult for companies to address than others. Pointing out such challenges increases transparency and may thus be a step in the right direction in itself.

Forward-looking statements

We recommend considering all forward-looking statements and expectations carefully. It should be clear that there is uncertainty related to all plans and expectations of how they may improve conditions in the company and its value chain. Due diligence is an ongoing process and it is important that companies have the flexibility to adapt to the dynamic risk landscape they operate in.

Questions? Do not hesitate to reach out to our Compliance & Risk Management team.

Compliance | What to report under the Norwegian Transparency Act? Part 3: Adverse impacts and risks

The first reporting deadline under the Norwegian Transparency Act (Nw. Åpenhetsloven) (“Transparency Act”) is approaching quickly. Our first newsletter addresses the questions “why”, “how”, “where” and “when”. But what to report? In addition to providing an overview of the business operations as discussed in our previous newsletter (Part 2), companies are required to provide information on adverse impacts on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions.

According to the Transparency Act (Section 5), the annual reporting must include information on actual adverse impacts and significant risks of adverse impacts on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions that the company has identified through its due diligence. This includes impacts that the company caused, contributed to or to which it is directly linked, either through its own operations, products or services or through its supply chain or business partners.

Thus, companies do not need to report all the impacts and risks that were identified during their due diligence process. But which risks are to be considered “significant”? Relevant factors are both the likelihood and the severity of the adverse impact for the people affected by it. This must be assessed on case-by-case basis.

Companies may choose not to limit their reporting to actual adverse impacts and significant risks, but report on less significant risks as well. In that case, it is according to the Consumer Authority important that the report distinguishes between the different types of risks. In addition, companies may include information on how they prioritise the various risks and based on what criteria.

The reporting on actual impacts and risks is key for more transparency and promoting society’s efforts on the protection of human rights.

Practical insights

Level of detail

We recommend that companies aim for a reporting format that supports the purpose of the Transparency Act and that allows other companies and the public to improve their own work with fundamental human rights and decent working conditions. Under certain circumstances, it might also make sense to refer to other companies’ reports in the same supply chain for specific risks. Make sure the identified actual impacts and significant risks are described adequately and put into context with the overall business operations.

Assess the boundaries of lawful public disclosure carefully

Companies need to carefully assess what information they are legally required and allowed to publish in their report. The Transparency Act itself states a few exemptions that may apply. However, there may be other legal restrictions to the disclosure of information in particular in connection with actual adverse impacts, such as, but limited to, orders by prosecution authorities or courts.


Questions? Do not hesitate to reach out to our Compliance & Risk Management team.

Compliance | What to report under the Norwegian Transparency Act? Part 2: “Setting the scene” – Company overview

The first reporting deadline under the Norwegian Transparency Act (Nw. Åpenhetsloven) (“Transparency Act”) is approaching quickly. Our first newsletter addresses the questions “why”, “how”, “where” and “when”. But what to report? A good overview of the business and organisational processes is fundamental for meaningful reporting on due diligence on human rights and decent working conditions.

According to the Transparency Act (Section 5), the annual reporting must include “a general description of the organisation, its area of operation and its policies and procedures guiding the handling of actual and potential adverse impacts on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions.”

In practice, companies will at least need to address the following topics according to guidance by the Consumer Authority (Nw. Forbrukertilsynet):

  • a high-level description of how the company is organised providing enough detail to inform the reporting on impacts and mitigating measures;
  • what kind of products and services are offered;
  • where the company operates and which markets its products and services are offered in;
  • how the company’s work with fundamental human rights and decent working conditions is implemented in its internal policies and procedures; and
  • what channels and mechanisms the company has implemented that contribute to uncovering adverse impacts on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions.


Practical insights

Setting the scene

Most companies already publish information on their business operations and the markets they operate in on their homepage or in their annual reports. Information about the business concept may however not provide sufficient background to understand how the operations may impact fundamental human rights and decent working conditions. The part of the business operations involving the highest risk for potential adverse impact is perhaps not described in sufficient detail when compared to other business segments? We recommend tailoring this general overview with view to what is coming further on in the report: What does the reader need to know to understand actual and potential adverse impacts that were identified and the measures that were implemented? A targeted business overview may even help to reduce the number of requests companies will need to answer under the Transparency Act.

Group reporting

For companies that are part of a larger corporate group, it is important to ensure that it is made clear how each company fits into the bigger picture and what applies to each of the group companies. A report published by a parent company may for example include references to the individual reports published by its subsidiaries if the group does not publish a common report. The information should be easily accessible for the public.

What not to include in the report?

Companies are inter alia not required to publish any information which is considered to constitute a trade secret or which is otherwise competitively sensitive. What constitutes trade secrets must be assessed for each company, but names of suppliers can be competitively sensitive in some markets, and another typical example is data regarding technical devices and procedures or other operational and business matters which need to be kept secret for competitive reasons.

Questions? Do not hesitate to reach out to our Compliance & Risk Management team.

Arbeidsrett | Planlegging og håndtering av sommerferie

Ferieloven stiller krav til hvordan arbeidsgiver skal håndtere ansattes ferie. Det betyr blant annet at arbeidsgiver må planlegge og informere de ansatte om sommerferie i god tid. I dette nyhetsbrevet finner du en oversikt over de viktigste reglene som gjelder og råd om hvordan arbeidsgiver kan håndtere noen praktiske problemstillinger.

BAHR mener

Ved planlegging og håndtering av de ansatte ferie må arbeidsgiver som det klare utgangspunkt følge ferieloven. Likevel, kan arbeidsgiver fravike kravene i ferieloven knyttet til fastsettelse av ferie, endring og erstatning ved tariffavtale eller annen avtale. Dette kan gi arbeidsgiver et handlingsrom til å finne smidige løsninger.

BAHR mener arbeidsgiverne bør bruke ferielovens handlingsrom slik at virksomhetens behov for produksjon og ferieavvikling gjennomføres på en så effektiv og smidig måte som mulig. Rammene for de beste løsningene legges dersom planlegging og dialog kommer i gang så tidlig som mulig før ferieavviklingen.

Videre bør arbeidsgivere ha en klar policy på at tidspunkt for avvikling av ferie skal fastsettes etter konsultasjon med arbeidsgiver, slik at ansatte ikke opplever misnøye eller falske forventninger til når deres sommerferie skal avvikles.


Utgangspunktet – all lovbestemt ferie skal avvikles

Arbeidstakeren har i utgangspunktet rett og plikt til å avvikle full ferie i løpet av ferieåret, uavhengig av hvilken stillingsprosent vedkommende er ansatt i. Det er imidlertid arbeidsgiver som bestemmer når arbeidstakeren skal avvikle ferie (med noen få unntak). I praksis løses likevel ferieavvikling oftest uformelt og ved enighet.

Med full ferie menes ferie etter reglene i ferieloven. Ferielovens regler gir arbeidstakeren rett og plikt til å avvikle 25 virkedager ferie hvert år. Ferielovens virkedagsbegrep inkluderer også lørdager, slik at ferielengden etter loven er fire uker og en dag. Det er likevel vanlig at arbeidsgiver praktiserer fem ukers betalt ferie. Dette kan følge av tariffavtale eller av annen avtale, men aller vanligst er at det praktiseres som en administrativ ordning av arbeidsgiver. Slik «tilleggsferie» omfattes ikke direkte av reglene i ferieloven og det beror på en tolkning av avtalegrunnlaget om denne delen av ferien kan overføres til påfølgende ferieår. Mange tariffavtaler gir arbeidsgiver og arbeidstaker adgang til skriftlig å avtale overføring av de tariffestede feriedagene til påfølgende år.

Når det gjelder sommerferien, kan arbeidstakeren kreve at 18 virkedager (tre uker) gis sammenhengende i perioden 1. juni – 30. september.


Når skal ferieavviklingen fastsettes?

Utgangspunktet er at arbeidsgiver skal drøfte ferieavvikling i «god tid» før ferien. Det er ingen formkrav til drøftelsene og i praksis gjøres det ofte uformelt.

Hvis arbeidstakeren uttrykkelig krever det, kan vedkommende kreve å få underretning om fastsettelsen av ferien senest to måneder før ferien avvikles. Denne underretningsplikten gjelder likevel ikke hvis «særlige grunner» er til hinder for dette. Driftsmessige forhold på arbeidsgivers side kan utgjøre en «særlig grunn». For eksempel ble håndteringen og usikkerheten knyttet til koronaviruset i 2020 ansett å være en «særlig grunn» det året. Underretningsplikten i § 6 (2) er på samme måte som drøftelsesplikten en ordensregel. Arbeidstaker kan derfor ikke nekte å avvikle ferie selv om arbeidsgiver unnlater å gi informasjon i henhold til loven. Et pliktbrudd kan imidlertid under særlige omstendigheter utløse erstatningsansvar etter ferieloven § 14.

Brudd på drøftingsplikten eller underretningsplikten fører ikke automatisk til ugyldighet. Arbeidstakeren kan i slike tilfeller for eksempel ikke nekte å ta ut fastsatt ferie fordi arbeidsgiver ikke har overholdt disse drøftings- og underretningspliktene. Manglende oppfyllelse fra arbeidsgivers side kan imidlertid under særlige omstendigheter få betydning for et eventuelt erstatningsansvar.



Selv om arbeidstakeren har rett på full ferie, betyr ikke det nødvendigvis at arbeidstakeren har rett på betalt ferietid. Som utgangspunkt skal arbeidsgiver ikke betale arbeidstakeren lønn mens vedkommende er på ferie. Imidlertid har arbeidsgivere, etter ferieloven, en plikt til å spare en del av arbeidstakerens arbeidsvederlag fra det foregående året, slik at feriepenger opptjenes fra året før ferien avvikles. De oppstarte feriepengene skal kompensere for bortfalt lønn i den perioden arbeidstakeren er borte. Etter ferieloven skal arbeidsgiver holde av minst 10,2 prosent av arbeidstakerens arbeidsvederlag fra det foregående året for arbeidstakere som har fire ukers ferie. For arbeidstakere som har rett til fem ukers ferie skal det normalt holdes av 12 prosent. Arbeidstakere over 60 år har rett på minimum 12,5 prosent (14,3 prosent ved seks ukers ferie).

Utgangspunktet etter ferieloven er at feriepengene skal utbetales siste vanlige lønningsdag før ferien.  Av administrative hensyn utbetaler imidlertid de fleste arbeidsgivere feriepenger i stedet for lønn en bestemt måned hvert år, typisk i juni.

Dersom arbeidstakeren ikke har opptjent feriepenger hos nåværende/og eller tidligere arbeidsgiver fra det foregående året, kan arbeidstakeren som utgangspunkt nekte å ta ferie fra arbeidet, dersom vedkommende ikke vil få noe kompensasjon for lønnsbortfallet under ferieperioden. Dette vil typisk være aktuelt for nyutdannede arbeidstakere. Imidlertid gjelder ikke dette dersom selskapet helt eller delvis innstiller driften i ferien. Dette vil typisk gjelde for virksomheter som er stengt på sommeren.


Pågående utredningsarbeid om ferielovens system for opptjening av feriepenger

Etter EUs arbeidstidsdirektiv artikkel 7 skal medlemstatene i EU/EØS sikre at alle arbeidstakere får betalt ferie i minimum fire uker. Det har derfor vært en pågående diskusjon om ferielovens system for opptjening av feriepenger strider med EØS-retten. Etter dagens system med opptjening av feriepenger året før ferieåret rammes særlig (i) nyutdannede (ii) tidligere arbeidsledige som kommer i jobb (iii) personer som kommer tilbake etter fravær i ulønnet permisjon og (iv) utenlandske arbeidstakere som begynner å jobbe i Norge.

Følgelig, vil ikke disse arbeidstakergruppene ha rett på fire ukers betalt ferie med dagens ordning. På denne bakgrunn, meddelte Arbeids- og inkluderingsdepartementet i en pressemelding 31. mars 2023 at det er besluttet å iverksette en utredning om hvordan opptjening og utbetaling av feriepenger kan bringes nærmere hverandre i tid. Arbeidet vil skje i to etapper. Først skal det utredes modell(er) for nytt opptjeningssystem gjennom et eksternt oppdrag. Deretter vil departementet ha en prosess med partene i arbeidslivet, alminnelig høring mv. knyttet til eventuell gjennomføring.

Om eventuelle endringer vil iverksettes og hvordan dette vil se ut er enda tidlig å si. Imidlertid kan det nevnes at Danmark tidligere hadde et lignende system som den norske ferieloven. Dette systemet ble endret i 2020. Danmarks lovgivning ble endret til at arbeidstakere opptjener 2,08 feriedager pr. måned man er i jobb, samt at ferieåret går fra 1. september til 31. august det påfølgende året. De norske arbeidsgiver- og arbeidstakerorganisasjonene har frem til nå ikke vært begeistret for den danske modellen.

Compliance | Upcoming reporting deadline under the Norwegian Transparency Act – Part 1: Introduction

The first reporting deadline under the Norwegian Transparency Act (Nw. Åpenhetsloven) (“Transparency Act”) is approaching quickly. The Transparency Act aims to have a positive effect on human rights and working conditions by promoting transparency on companies’ due diligence efforts, in particular impact assessments and mitigating measures that shall be implemented to address such impacts. Larger Norwegian and foreign companies offering products and services in Norway have to publish their first report by the end of June 2023.

Under the Norwegian Transparency Act, companies are required to perform due diligence (Nw. aktsomhetsvurderinger) on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions in line with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and report on their efforts on an annual basis. In our newsletter series, we will look more closely at the content of the mandatory reporting, available guidance and provide practical insights along the way.

According to the Transparency Act (Section 5), the annual report must include at a minimum the following:

  • a general description of the company’s structure, area of operations, guidelines and procedures for handling actual and potential adverse impacts on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions;
  • information regarding actual adverse impacts and significant risks of adverse impacts that the company has identified through its due diligence; and
  • information regarding measures the company has implemented or plans to implement to cease actual adverse impacts or mitigate significant risks of adverse impacts, and the results or expected results of these measures.


Practical insights

What period to report for?

The company’s last financial year. However, it is not mandatory to report for the period before the Transparency Act came into effect (1 July 2022).

Where to publish the report?

The report must be made easily accessible on the company’s website. It may in addition be included in companies’ annual report on corporate social responsibility in accordance with Section 3-3c of the Norwegian Accounting Act. If not included therein, companies shall at least inform where the report is or will be made available.

Who needs to sign the report?

The same rules apply as for the signature of financial and non-financial reporting under the Norwegian Accounting Act (Section 3-5). Often, the required signatories will be the CEO and the board of directors.

Group reporting

It is possible, but not mandatory, to publish one report for the whole group. Note that all companies within the group that are subject to the Transparency Act shall publish it on their own homepage. It must be easy for the public to identify relevant information for a specific group company within the group report.


We recommend thinking through all the practical aspects of reporting well ahead of time and involve relevant resources as early as possible to ensure an effective process.

In our next newsletters, we will look more closely at the content of the annual report under the Transparency Act.


Questions? Do not hesitate to reach out to our Compliance & Risk Management team.

Technology | The European Parliament have reached a political agreement on the Artificial Intelligence Act: What You Need to Know

The rising popularity of ChatGPT has led to a surge of interest in AI companies worldwide, with a consequential increase in scrutiny on the development and implementation of AI technology. As a result, the ongoing discussions regarding the Artificial Intelligence Act, the world’s first Artificial Intelligence regulation have become a significant topic of interest, with companies and individuals alike closely following the developments and potential implications of the proposed legislation. After many months of intense negotiations, Members of the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on 27 April 2023 on the contents of the Artificial Intelligence Act.

What is the Artificial Intelligence Act?

In 2021 the European Commission (“Commission”) proposed the Artificial Intelligence Act (“AIA”) a regulation that aims to provide AI developers, deployers and users with clear requirements and obligations regarding specific uses of AI. The AIA seeks to ensure that AI systems are developed and used in a way that is safe, transparent, and respects fundamental rights. The regulation will apply to providers and users of AI-systems in the EU, regardless of whether they are based in the Union or a third country and will also apply where the output produced by an AI system is used in the EU.

The AIA applies to a wide range of AI systems, including those used in healthcare, transportation, and public safety, among others. The regulation sets out different categories of AI systems and imposes varying levels of obligations depending on the potential risks associated with their use. The AIA also regulates the establishment of a European Artificial Intelligence Board to oversee the implementation of the regulation, issue opinions, and share best practices.

What are the key provisions of the AIA?

The AIA sets out a number of key provisions that will have significant implications for companies that develop or use AI systems in the EU. Some of the key provisions include:

  • Risk-based approach: The AIA adopts a risk-based approach, with different levels of obligations depending on the potential risks associated with an AI system. The regulation sets out four different categories of AI systems, ranging from minimal risk to unacceptable risk.
  • Prohibited AI practices: The AIA prohibits certain AI practices that are considered high risk, including AI systems that manipulate human behaviour, create deepfakes, and use subliminal techniques to influence human behaviour.
  • Transparency requirements: The AIA requires that AI systems be transparent, with clear information provided to users about the system’s capabilities, limitations, and intended use. The regulation also requires that users be informed when they are interacting with an AI system.
  • Human oversight: The AIA requires that AI systems be subject to human oversight, with clear procedures in place for human intervention in the event of a problem or error.
  • Data requirements: The AIA sets out specific data requirements for AI systems, including requirements for data quality, data protection, and data security.

What are the potential implications of the AIA?

The AIA may affect all use of AI systems in the EU. The risk-based approach in the AIA which bans certain AI systems and heavily restrict others, should motivate providers and customers to review the AIA before and during the development and procurement of any products or services incorporating AI systems. Providers may otherwise risk developing products or services which are heavily restricted in terms of further development, commercialization, and use. Although the regulation focuses on providers of AI systems, users of AI systems are also covered by the regulation. We therefore expect increased scrutiny from the customer side and increased due diligence aimed at AI systems before use. To ensure that AI providers and users stay compliant the Commission will carry out market investigations and issue fines to sanction infringements of the AIA.

As an example, one of the issues debated by the European Parliament has been how to regulate general-purpose AI systems such as ChatGPT and DALL-E. In the recent negotiations, it was agreed that such systems must be designed and deployed in accordance with EU law and fundamental rights, including freedom of expression and information. The Members of the European Parliament also agreed that companies deploying such AI systems will have to disclose any copyrighted material used to develop their systems.

What will be the consequences of non-compliance and infringements?

Failure to comply with the AIA may result in significant fines up to 30 000 000 EUR or, if the offender is a company, up to 6% of its total worldwide annual turnover for the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. The regulation also heavily sanctions the supply of incorrect, incomplete or misleading information to notified bodies and national competent authorities in reply to a request related to the regulation, with fines up to 10 000 000 EUR or, if the offender is a company, up to 2% of its total worldwide annual turnover for the preceding financial year, whichever is higher. Companies also face the risk of reputational damage, which may in some cases far exceed the damage caused by fines.


The European Parliament reached a provisional political deal on the regulation on 27 April 2023. The Act may be subject to minor adjustments ahead of a key committee vote scheduled on 11 May 2023, but it is expected to go to a plenary vote in mid-June 2023. The AIA is therefore expected to enter into force in 2023 and assuming a two-year transit period it would become applicable in 2025. Considering the proposal’s relevance to the EEA/EFTA countries and their consistent adoption of comparable measures as well as alignment with EU regulations, it appears probable that the proposal will be implemented in the aforementioned countries.

BAHRs view

When passed, we believe that the AIA will not only influence the development and use of AI inside the EU, but also outside the borders of the EU/EEA, given the influence of the EU. Companies that develop or use AI systems in the EU, or offer AI systems to EU customers, will need to carefully assess the potential risks associated with their systems and ensure that they comply with the obligations set out in the regulation. Given the wide implications of AI within almost all fields and sectors, we believe that the AIA will have large implications for both individuals and businesses globally. The remedies that include fines up to 6% of the company’s total worldwide annual turnover, should motivate companies developing or using AI to perform an assessment of compliance with the AIA before it becomes applicable.

Kapitalforvaltning | EU-kommisjonen uttaler seg om forståelsen av «bærekraftige investeringer»

Etter ikrafttredelse av SFDR og taksonomien har kapitalforvaltere vært pålagt å ta stilling til hvorvidt, og eventuelt i hvilken grad, finansielle produkter skal gjøre og faktisk har gjort bærekraftige investeringer. Hvilke investeringer som kan anses som bærekraftige er rettslig definert, men i praksis har det vært stor usikkerhet om hvordan dette begrepet skal forstås. EU-kommisjonen har nylig uttalt seg om hvordan definisjonen av bærekraftige investeringer skal forstås, og tydeliggjort hvordan forvaltere skal forholde seg til reglene i praksis.


SFDR har blant annet som formål å øke transparens mellom kapitalforvaltere og investorer om bærekraft. Forvaltere som tilbyr finansielle produkter må følge ett av tre regelsett: (i) produkter underlagt SFDR artikkel 8 (produkter som fremmer miljømessige eller sosiale egenskaper), (ii) produkter underlagt SFDR artikkel 9 (produkter med bærekraftige investeringer som mål) eller (iii) produkter som ikke er underlagt SFDR artikkel 8 eller SFDR artikkel 9.

Alle forvaltere som tilbyr produkter underlagt SFDR artikkel 8 eller SFDR artikkel 9 må ha et bevisst forhold til definisjonen av «bærekraftige investeringer». For slike produkter må forvaltere ta stilling til om, og eventuelt i hvilken grad, produktets investeringer skal være bærekraftige før investorer tegner seg, og løpende rapportere og godtgjøre overfor investorer at produktet er forvaltet i samsvar med denne forpliktelsen.

Det er to ulike definisjoner av bærekraftige investeringer. SFDR artikkel 2 (17) krever i korte trekk at investeringen er i en økonomisk aktivitet som (i) bidrar til et miljømål eller et sosialt mål, (ii) ikke vesentlig skader andre miljømål eller sosiale mål, og (iii) utføres av et porteføljeselskap som følger god styringspraksis.

Taksonomien ble vedtatt i 2020, noe etter SFDR. Taksonomien er et klassifiseringssystem for å definere hva som er miljømessig bærekraftige investeringer. Taksonomiens definisjon av hva som er en bærekraftig investering er definert for enkelte aktiviteter ved tekniske screening-kriterier. Eksempelvis stadfester de tekniske screening-kriteriene hvor mye utslipp som tillates ved hydrogenproduksjon dersom produksjonen skal være miljømessig bærekraftig i henhold til taksonomien. Der SFDR er «nøytral» med hensyn til aktiviteter, stiller taksonomien opp et sett med definerte aktiviteter.

Forvaltere som tilbyr produkter underlagt SFDR artikkel 8 eller SFDR artikkel 9 må i tillegg til å opplyse andelen bærekraftige investeringer, også spesifisere hva slags bærekraftige investeringer produktet skal gjøre/har gjort:

Den vage definisjonen i SFDR har skapt usikkerhet rundt hva som kreves for at en porteføljeinvestering kan defineres som en sosialt eller miljømessig bærekraftig investering under SFDR, og variasjon mellom forvaltere i tilnærmingen til hvor terskelen skal ligge. EUs tilsynsmyndigheter har etterspurt avklaringer fra EU-kommisjonen om hvordan definisjonen skal forstås. I sitt svar til EUs tilsynsmyndigheter kommer EU-kommisjonen med noen etterlengtede – men ikke overraskende – avklaringer.

EU-kommisjonens avklaringer

EU-kommisjonen slår fast at SFDR ikke foreskriver en spesifikk metode som må anvendes for å vurdere hvorvidt en investering bidrar til et miljømessig eller sosialt mål. Forordningen oppstiller heller ikke minimumskrav som må oppfylles for at de tre vilkårene i SFDR artikkel 2 (17) er til stede. Forvaltere med produkter som er forpliktet til å gjøre bærekraftige investeringer må etablere et eget rammeverk for å vurdere hvorvidt vilkårene er oppfylt. Rammeverket må ligge innenfor forordningens ordlyd i artikkel 2 (17), men ellers står forvaltere fritt.

Forvaltere med produkter underlagt SFDR artikkel 8 eller SFDR artikkel 9 er underlagt omfattende opplysnings- og rapporteringskrav i kraft av SFDR og taksonomien. Kravene er fastsatt i Level 2-regler (delegert kommisjonsforordning (EU) 2022/1288), og krever blant annet at forvaltere benytter standardformater inntatt som vedlegg til forordningen når opplysnings- og rapporteringskravene overholdes.

EU-kommisjonen påpeker at forvaltere må benytte spørsmålene i standardformatet til å utbrodere forvalterens rammeverk for å vurdere og godtgjøre at en investering er bærekraftig. Dette innebærer at forvaltere med produkter som skal gjøre bærekraftige investeringer på etableringstidspunktet må ha fastsatt et slikt rammeverk, og at dette beskrives utfyllende i de lovpålagte opplysningskravene.

BAHR mener

Spørsmålene som ble stilt til EU-kommisjonen fra de europeiske tilsynsmyndighetene søkte å avklare hva som materielt sett kan anses som en bærekraftig investering. At EU-kommisjonen avsto fra å gi materielle føringer for hva som er tilstrekkelig er ikke overraskende og henger sammen med at SFDR er en offentliggjøringsforordning som oppstiller opplysnings- og rapporteringsplikter heller enn materielle investeringsrestriksjoner.

Ved at forvaltere må vurdere hva som er «godt nok» skapes det en viss usikkerhet for aktørene. Det vil også gi ulik praksis, der en og samme investering kan anses bærekraftig av én forvalter, og ikke bærekraftig av en annen forvalter.

For forvaltere av produkter som skal gjøre bærekraftige investeringer blir det vesentlig å være klar og tydelig i prekontraktuell dokumentasjon som deles med investorer med hensyn til hvilke terskler forvalteren legger til grunn. Det viktigste virkemiddelet for å unngå anklager om grønnvasking (eksempelvis at terskelen for hva som anses som bærekraftig er lagt for lavt) vil være å sikre at investorer får de opplysningene de har krav på om forvalterens definisjon av bærekraftige investeringer, slik at investoren kan gjøre en selvstendig vurdering av om rammeverket er «godt nok» etter deres egne interne vurderinger.

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