Farm Ireland

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Norway and EU agree to scrap host of food tariffs in new trade deal

Shipping taking a hit amid a downturn in international trade. Photo: Bloomberg
Shipping taking a hit amid a downturn in international trade. Photo: Bloomberg

Sarah Collins

The EU and Norway have agreed to scrap a range of tariffs on live plants, corn for feed and cider, anointing to 36 in total.

They have also agreed to allow in more meat, dairy, cereals and vegetables by setting yearly import quotas.

The deal was reached after two years of talks, and was made possible through Norway's membership of the European Economic Area (EEA), a free-trade bloc that unites the country with the 28-member EU, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The EEA provides for the free movement of most goods, except for agriculture and fish, though it does provide for regular reviews of barriers to trade in those sectors.

The deal comes just a week after the UK formally triggered its EU exit. British prime minister Theresa May (right) has indicated she does not want to be part of the EEA. Norway will allow in an extra 1600 tonnes of bovine meat from the EU, with smaller quotas for European chicken, duck, pork, hams and sausages and a 1200 tonne quota for cheese. In exchange, the EU has offered Norway a 700 tonne quota for chicken meat, along with quotas on preserved meat, offal, dried milk albumin and whey products.

Norway is a net importer of EU agricultural products, with EU exports to the country almost doubling during the last 10 years to €2.5 billion.

Ireland's agricultural exports to Norway made up less than 3pc of our total exports to the country in 2015, according to the World Bank. EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan said the deal would "provide more market opportunities for our EU producers and contribute to the continuation of our EU agri-food export success".

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