Danish Seafood Association lodges complaint against Norway

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The Danish Seafood Association believes that there is a breach of the EEA agreement as Norway prohibits exports of “production” fish. Now they are taking the matter to the EFTA Surveillance Authority, ESA.

The goal is to have ESA, which ensures that Norway complies with its obligations under the EEA Agreement, to lift the prohibition of Production fish. Norway has three quality grades for salmon: Production, Ordinary and Superior. The Danish Seafood Association is threatening to bring the matter to the EU.

The complaint comes in the wake of the fact that the Minister of Fisheries Harald Tom Nesvik (Frp) promised not to remove today’s decision related to the export of production fish.

“We have from time to time wondered about the Norwegian provision that Production salmon can not be exported. We find it difficult to see the grounds for the ban, and we would therefore like to hear if the surveillance authority shares our perception, “said Poul Melgaard Jensen of the Danish Seafood Association to SalmonBusiness.

Poul Melgaard Jensen. PHOTO: Facebook

A competitive advantage
In the complaint, the Danish Seafood Association writes that the ban is in conflict with Articles 12 and 13 of the EEA Agreement. Among other things, it is stated that “the provisions (…) shall not preclude prohibitions or restrictions on imports, exports or transit, which are justified on the grounds of the (…) human and animal life and health.”

According to the Danish Seafood Association, the standards ban on export gives “Norwegian processing companies a competitive advantage”.

Unpredictable outcome
Melgaard Jensen said earlier that they considered whether dialogue should be established with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade (DG TRADE), which is the department is responsible for EU policy on trade with countries beyond the EU’s borders.

“EAS is the right forum. We are briefing DG Trade on the matter, but I suspect that DG Trade will let the EAS assess the matter,” he said.

He adds that he doesn’t predict what the outcome will be.

“But the case has both a competitive aspect and a trade aspect. Danish businesses compete for the products that can be sold to EU countries after correction,” concluded Melgaard Jensen.