Entry into force of the Transparency Act

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The Transparency Act relating to enterprises’ transparency and work on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions came into force on 1 July 2022. Enterprises comprised by the scope of the act must now i.a. carry out due diligence in accordance with the OECD guidelines and publish an account of the due diligence.

The Act aims to promote larger enterprises’ respect for fundamental human rights and decent working conditions in connection with the production of goods and the provision of services and ensure the general public access to information regarding how enterprises address adverse impacts on fundamental human rights and decent working conditions.

Larger enterprises comprised by the Act are all enterprises covered by section 1-5 of the Accounting Act or entreprises that exceed the threshold for two of the following three conditions on the date of financial statements: 1. sales revenues: NOK 70 million, balance sheet total: NOK 35 million, average number of employees in the financial year: 50 full-time equivalent. Parent companies shall be considered larger enterprises if the conditions are met for the parent company and subsidiaries as a whole.

Interested citizens have a right of access to adequate and comprehensible written information as to how the enterprise address actual and potential adverse impacts pursuant to the due diligence in accordance with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises that the enterprise must carry out pursuant to Section 4 of the Act. However, there is a reservation i.a. for clearly unreasonable requests and business secrets.

Enterprises comprised by the Transparency Act are well advised to appoint a member of the management to be in charge of transparency issues, to establish guidelines for how to comply with the Act and to perform risk assessments of the enterprise’s supply chains and request information in writing from any supplier which could be deemed to carry a risk in relation to the Act.