UK, Norway Reach Free Trade Agreement – Fish Farmer Magazine
Norway and the UK have finally reached an agreement on a free trade agreement that will provide better access to seafood, it was confirmed today.
The deal, confirmed by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, involves maintaining all previous tariff preferences for seafood, including farmed salmon, and better market access for whitefish, shrimp and several others products.
Fisheries and Seafood Minister Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen said the UK was the country’s third largest seafood market by volume and fifth by value, with a value of 6.2 billion NOK per year.
Norway’s main seafood exports to Britain include cod, salmon, haddock, saithe and shrimp.
He added: “The agreement helps increase the predictability of seafood trade to one of our most important export markets. The deal ensures that all tariff preferences for seafood that Norway had while the UK was a member of the EU will be maintained. In addition, significant improvements have been made.
“Our aim has been to secure the best possible trading conditions with the UK. The agreement means that effective border control is provided to ensure that goods do not deteriorate at the border and enter the market quickly. This is particularly important for the seafood industry, ”said the Minister.
For exports exceeding the duty-free quota reached for that year, the duty will be reduced from 7.5% to 5%. For exports exceeding the duty-free quota of 1,560 tonnes in 2022, the duty rate has been further reduced to 2.5%. Zero duty applies from January 1.
Talks have been going on since last summer and there was concern at one point that an agreement could not be reached. The main stumbling blocks were the export of agricultural products such as cheese and meat to Norway, which met with strong opposition from Norwegian farmers. Norwegian fishermen were also concerned about some aspects of seafood exports.
A similar free trade deal has also been struck between the UK and Iceland, another key UK seafood supplier, although it mainly concerns whitefish at this point. This move should benefit fish markets such as Grimsby. Liechtenstein also concluded a free trade agreement with the UK today.
UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said the deal will be “a major boost for our trade with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, developing an economic relationship already worth $ 21.6 billion. pounds sterling, while supporting jobs and prosperity in the country’s four countries. “
The UK’s trade regulations with the three jurisdictions involved do not, however, replicate the free movement of goods and services that existed in the UK’s relationship with the European Economic Area, prior to Brexit.