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Fish export to the EU

There are various agreements with the EU which govern the tariff rate.

Note: An update of this article is pending. Please note that some terms and/or references may differ from the Movement of Goods Act and the Customs Duty Act that enters into force from the 1st of January 2023.

The preferential trade in fish and seafood with the European Union is mainly governed by three sets of agreements:

  • The so-called "Fishing Letter" from 1973, as subsequently amended;
  • Protocol 9 of the 1994 EEA Agreement of 1994;
  • The Compensation Agreements of 1995, 2004 and 2007;

Nowadays, the EEA Agreement is the most important agreement that governs cooperation between Norway and the EU.

The regulations of the EEA Agreement that govern trade in fish and seafood can be found in Protocol 9, whereas the rules of origin are laid down in Protocol 4.

Scope of goods in the agreements with the EU

It is important to check both the EEA Agreement, the Fishing Letter, the Compensation Agreements and the EFTA Convention, since different agreements stipulate different tariff reductions. In several examples, it would be more beneficial to use the Fishing Letter instead of the EEA Agreement.

Information about country of origin

If you want to use the autonomous quotas in the EU and/or the WTO (GATT) quotas for fish and other seafood, it is the EU's national non-preferential rules of origin that apply.

Preferential tariff treatment shall be confirmed in accordance with the following guidelines:

If one of the quotas laid down in one of the compensation agreements or the Fishing Letter is used, "Norway" shall be stated as country of origin. If the quota at the time of import has been used up, the EEA preference will be approved. If Protocol 9 to the EEA Agreement is used, and "EEA" is stated as country of origin, only the preferential rate that applies to the EEA will be stated.

In other words, in accordance with section 1, EEA preference will be stated once a bilateral tariff-free quota has been used up, Norway has been declared to be the country of origin in the certificate of origin, and there is no doubt about the origin of the goods.

"EEA/Norway" or "EEA-Norway" may not be used as country of origin.

The European Union has provided tariff-free quotas for fish of Norwegian origin in the compensation agreements. There are no quota limits in accordance with Protocol 9, but there is a reduction in ordinary customs duty for individual fish species.