The new free trade agreement strengthens the framework conditions for the Norwegian seafood industry says the Minister for Fisheries

The new free trade agreement strengthens the framework conditions for the Norwegian seafood industry says the Minister for Fisheries

New free trade agreement strengthens the framework conditions for the Norwegian seafood industry claims the Norwegian Department of Fisheries and Seafood.

The agreement entails a continuation of all previous tariff preferences for seafood and improved market access for whitefish, shrimp and several other products, says the Norwegian Department of Fisheries and Seafood.

“I am very pleased that we have a free trade agreement in place with the United Kingdom. For the shrimp industry on Senja and the land industry in northern Norway, this will be of great importance. The agreement contributes to increased predictability for trade in seafood to one of our most important export markets,” says Minister of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.

The United Kingdom is the third largest export market for Norwegian seafood measured by volume and the fifth largest market by value. The agreement ensures the continuation of all tariff preferences for seafood that Norway had while the United Kingdom was a member of the EU. In addition, important improvements have been achieved.

Zero duty for frozen peeled shrimp from 2023

Frozen peeled shrimp is the most important shrimp product in the UK. For exports in excess of the duty-free quota established for this year, the duty will be reduced from 7.5 to 5 per cent from the entry into force of the agreement. For exports in excess of the duty-free quota of 1560 tonnes in 2022, the duty rate has been further reduced to 2.5 per cent. Zero customs apply from 1 January 2023.

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Zero duty for whitefish

The agreement continues duty-free for fresh and frozen whole white fish, which are very important products for the British market. In the free trade agreement, Norway has achieved duty-free treatment for frozen fillets of haddock and saithe. Frozen cod fillets can be exported duty free within a quota of 4000 tonnes.

Framework in the veterinary field

Norway and the United Kingdom have also agreed on a framework for further cooperation in the veterinary field. As a result of the United Kingdom leaving the European single market, requirements for veterinary border control will be introduced from 1 January 2022. Requirements for health certificates will be introduced from 1 October 2021. Norway and the United Kingdom agree to work together to ensure that trade flows as well. as possible, and a joint committee shall be set up to discuss veterinary matters. It is also agreed that Norwegian exports will have the same good conditions as exports from the EU.

“Our goal has been to get the best possible terms for trade with the UK. The agreement means that effective border control is planned to ensure that goods do not deteriorate at the border and that they enter the market quickly. This is especially important for the seafood industry,” says Ingebrigtsen.

More about the results for seafood

Norway has achieved zero tariffs from the entry into force of the agreement for frozen fillets of mackerel, haddock, saithe and other whitefish species. Frozen cod fillets can be exported duty free within an annual quota of 4,000 tonnes and will meet customs duties of 0.9 per cent. if the quota is used in full. Zero customs duties have been achieved for live, fresh and frozen products of king crab, snow crab and bag crab. Frozen peeled prawns will meet zero tariffs to the UK from 2023, and shell prawns will meet zero tariffs from 2025. Furthermore, Norway has achieved duty-free market access to the UK for important tariff lines for feed for fish.

The United Kingdom will create 15 duty-free import quotas for Norwegian seafood. The size of the duty-free quotas covers historical quota features on imports to the United Kingdom and has been increased for some quotas in the pelagic sector to allow for growth in trade. The duty-free quotas ensure that the industry can export a given quantity of the products included in the quotas duty-free to the United Kingdom. Norway has also achieved simplifications in the quota regime compared with the quota regime Norway has for the EU.

Facts about Norwegian seafood exports to the UK

  • In 2020, 147,000 tonnes of seafood were exported to the United Kingdom worth NOK 6.2 billion.
  • This makes the United Kingdom the third largest market for Norwegian seafood measured by volume and the fifth largest export market measured by value.
  • The United Kingdom is an important export market for, among other things, haddock, cod, shrimp and salmon.
  • It is by far the largest market for frozen haddock fillets, which the British use in their fish and chips.

 

Facts about the free trade agreement with the United Kingdom – Seafood:

Norway achieved improvements for some products to the United Kingdom, including products such as frozen peeled shrimp and frozen fillet of haddock, which are very important products for the British market. In addition, Norway has achieved zero tariffs for 43 tariff lines, including zero tariffs from the entry into force of the agreement for frozen fillets of mackerel, haddock, saithe and other whitefish species. Frozen peeled shrimp, which is the most important shrimp product, will meet zero tariffs from 1.1.23 and have access to a duty-free quota during the downsizing period.

Seafood Norway Disappointed with Agreement

Seafood Norway is disappointed with the free trade agreement that was presented by the Solberg government.   

“The government entered into these negotiations with a clear ambition to safeguard and strengthen Norwegian seafood interests . They have not succeeded in that. We have received an agreement which, by and large, means that we are standing still,” says the CEO. Geir Ove Ystmark in Seafood Norway. “What we are left with is a lost opportunity.”  

The industry has all the way asked for lower tariffs on processed products. This will generate activity and create jobs in Norway. Norway’s largest seafood organisation believes that Norway will now remain a raw material supplier with this agreement.

“The government has given up a unique opportunity to put in place an agreement that would provide important – and necessary – industrial development along the coast,” Ystmark emphasizes.  

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Free Trade Agreement with UK strengthens Norwegian Seafood Industry

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