European Commission begins investigation into “Norwegian Gannet” case

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Investigating Danish complaint about alleged Norwegian violations and protectionism.

Can a country benefit from free trade agreements with the EU while cutting off its trading partners from raw material supplies?

That is the question now being investigated by the European Commission, writes the Danish business newspaper Børsen.

Processed
Norway defends its salmon farming industry with demands that fish must be processed domestically before it is exported. It cuts off European processing businesses for raw materials.

“Our legal experts are in the process of analysing whether it is a discriminatory practice or a trade barrier in violation of the EFTA Agreement or the WTO Agreement,” wrote the two EU commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis (Trade Commissioner) and Virginijus Sinkevicius (Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner) in a letter to Søren Gade, Danish member of the European Parliament.

“We will raise the matter to the Norwegian authorities and ask for further information about the purpose of the Norwegian legislation and the possible effect on EU businesses,” the duo further wrote in the letter.

Protectionism
Søren Gade, who filed the “Gannet case,” called it “clear cut protectionism,” according to the newspaper.

The owner of the harvest vessel “Norwegian Gannet”, the shipping company Hav Line, received the verdict last summer that the shipping company has been subjected to “gross incongruity” from the Norwegian authorities. The Norwegian government has appealed the case.

“Norwegian Gannet” landed 30,000 tonnes of salmon worth EUR 161 million in Hirtshals, Denmark, in 2020.

The Norwegian Ministry of Industry and Fisheries did not wish to comment on the ongoing EU investigation.