EU-Iceland tariff barriers deal

All agricultural products from the EU, except yoghur, will be …

All agricultural products from the EU, except yoghur, will be duty-free. Photo: Styrmir Kári

Iceland and the European Union (EU) agreed yesterday upon three new agreements to further deregulate trade in agricultural products.

When adopted, the agreements will mean the more than 95% of trade in agricultural products between the EU and Iceland will be duty-free and that the full range of EU geographical indication (GI) protected products will enjoy the same protection in Iceland.

According to figures from the European Commission, 66.4% of EU agricultural products currently enter Iceland duty-free. This will increase to over 90% with these new agreements.

European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska has stated that “removing trade barriers between the EU and Iceland is a bold step forward; it means business opportunities for our food manufacturers and more choice and competitive price for consumers, both in Iceland and in the EU”.

“Trade in agricultural and food products between Iceland and the EU is worth over €236 million per year [approx. ISK 34 billion], on average.” reads a European Commission press release on the new deal.

The texts agreed upon yesterday will now undergo legal scrutiny before legal adoption. It is hoped the new arrangements may enter into force in late-2016 or early-2017.

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