Norway’s Seafood Alliance is pressuring its own government for access to EU markets for its seafood products, as there is growing concern that Norwegian production could be at a disadvantage compared to that of other nations that have or will have EU free trade deals.
Much of Norway’s seafood production either has negotiated or is in the process of negotiating free market access to the EU. Nations such as Canada, Chile and South Korea already have free trade agreements with the EU that include free market access for their seafood products, and the feeling is that future EU trade deals with the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and other nations could make the position of Norwegian exporters increasingly precarious.
The Seafood Alliance, which consists of The Norwegian Seafood Federation ( Sjømat Norge), The Norwegian Seafood Association (NSL), The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association (Norges Fiskarlag), vessel operators’ federation Fiskebåt and Organisation of Fish Sellers, has met Norway’s Minister for Europe Elisabet Aspaker to press for better access to markets in Europe.
‘It is crucial that we get at least as good export conditions to the main EU market as our competitors,’ said the Seafood Alliance head Kjell Ingebrigtsen.
The Seafood Alliance has also asked the minister to focus on transport of seafood in a Schengen context, presenting a report by Norwegian Seafood Research Fund FHF that concluded that the imposition of interim border controls inside the EU could have major economic consequences for the transport of all goods within the Schengen area.
Kjell Ingebrigtsen suggests that in the event of intensified border controls, Norway could make recommendations that would help Norwegian seafood exports and potential measures could include accredited routes for transporting perishable products, the establishment of a fast track arrangement for perishable goods or a system of sealing vehicles transporting perishable goods such as fresh fish.