The Court’s revised Rules of Procedure, approved by the EFTA States on 1 December 2020, were published on 20 May 2021 in the Official Journal of the European Union L 179, 20.5.2021, p. 13 and the EEA Supplement to the Official Journal Issue No. 35/2021, p.7.
According to Article 150(3) of the new Rules of Procedure, they will enter into force on the first day of the third month following their publication, i.e. 1 August 2021.
The new Rules of Procedure constitute a complete revision of the current Rules. The Rules of Procedure currently in force were adopted when the Court started its operations in 1994 and have subsequently been amended several times.
The purpose of the new Rules of Procedure is essentially to align the rules with recent amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice and of the General Court, in so far as those provisions are relevant for the structure and jurisdiction of the EFTA Court. This includes taking account of technological changes, in particular the recent introduction of the e-EFTACourt application, which allows for electronic lodging and service of documents.
The new Rules of Procedure of the EFTA Court are structured according to the Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice. After setting out some introductory provisions, the Rules are divided into five titles, each consisting of chapters with individual provisions. Title I concerns the organisation of the Court. Title II sets out common procedural provisions, which are to apply to both types of cases before the EFTA Court (the advisory opinion procedure and direct actions). Title III contains provisions specific to the advisory opinion procedure, whereas Title IV deals exclusively with direct actions. Title V governs special forms of procedure. There are also some final provisions, and two annexes.