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Intra-Nordic Barriers to Seafood Trade

image of Intra-Nordic Barriers to Seafood Trade

A working group consisting of representatives of fish industry associations of the Nordic countries has examined the seafood trade patterns in the Nordic countries with the objective of identifying possible trade barriers and recommending ways of making the intra-Nordic trade in fishery products more efficient. The Nordic countries are all important producers and traders of seafood. Norway, Denmark, Iceland and the Faroe Islands are all substantial exporters and Denmark also a major importer. Denmark, Sweden and Finland and Åland Islands are members of the EU while Iceland and Norway are members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and part of the European Economic Area (EEA) together with the EU Member States. The Faroe Islands, and Greenland are linked to the EU through bilateral agreements. The countries' different status with respect to the EU is a key element in understanding the trade patterns in seafood in the Nordic region, and in many ways the trade mirrors the trade conditions the respective countries have with the EU. The working group has found that seafood trade among the Nordic countries goes relatively smoothly, but recommends that further liberalization and the removal of some trade obstacles could improve intra-Nordic seafood trade even further.

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Overview of trade

The Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC) has provided the working group with trade statistics based on data for seafood for consumption. The use of these data permits a comparison between the four countries. It should, however, be noted that a comparison on selected items between NSEC data and national data show certain differences, which are owed to different ways of compiling data. It should also be noted that the used data, being limited to “seafood for consumption” (with HS codes starting with 03 and 1604-1605) do not reflect the overall trade in volume and volume for each country, which also include raw materials, oil and meal and by-products.

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