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  • Duty free access for 36 new products 
  • An increase in zero tariff quotas on both sides 
  • Norway compensates for earlier trade irritants  

Members on the International Trade Committee approved further trade preferences in agricultural products between the EU and Norway on Thursday.

MEPs backed the conclusion of a 2017 trade agreement by 30 votes with 1 abstention.

 

What’s new?

  • Under the new agreement the EU and Norway grant each other duty free access to 36 new products, including live horses, certain animal products and types of offal, plants, vegetables for feed purposes, provisionally preserved vegetables, fruit, berries and nuts, algae, certain sugars, fruit juices and fermented beverages.
  • Norway increases zero rate tariff quota for bovine meet (1600 t), poultry (150 t), preserved meat products (200 t), cheese and curd (1200 t), flowers and plants, lettuce and chicory (100 t), corn (5000 t), sausages (200 t) and a 15 NOK/kg rate quota for pork (300 t). In return, the EU increases zero rate quota for poultry (700 t), preserved meat (300 t), whey products (4400 t), flowers (500 000 EUR), potato chips (150 t), animal feed (200 t) and albumins (500 t), and merges the existing quota for sheep and goat meat.
  • To compensate the EU for earlier increased tariffs on cheese, beef and lamb meat and flower, Norway offered additional quota for cheese, beef, flowers and live plants.

 

Quote

 

“For a long time many of our agricultural products faced tariff, ranging from 277% to 429% when exporting to Norway. With today’s vote these will finally be brought down to zero even if only for the agreed quotas. I would have liked more ambition, but today’s vote is a first step forward. The first of many, I hope”, rapporteur Tiziana Beghin (EFDD, IT) said.

 

Next steps

 

The Full House is set to vote on the trade agreement during the April plenary session in Strasbourg.

 

Background

 

The EU and Norway are part of the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA Agreement), which provides for the free movement of goods, with the exception of agricultural and fisheries products. Parties carry out a review of trade conditions every two years, the most recent negotiations were conducted from February 2015 to April 2017. Norway is the EU's 7th most important partner for trade in goods. While Norway's overall trade with the EU shows a surplus, in trade of basic agricultural products the balance is in favour of the EU. The main EU export products include wines and vinegar, animal feed, soya and colza oil, live plants and cheese, while agriculture imports from Norway are mainly soybean, animal and vegetable oils and their residues and fur skins.