Agriculture & Fisheries

Agricultural Policy

Agriculture is not a part of the EEA Agreement, with the exception of veterinary and phytosanitary measures. However, custom duties for processed agricultural products (Protocol 3) and the development of trade concerning basic agricultural products between the EU and Norway (Article 19) are included in the agreement.

24/03/2004 :: Protocol 3 regulates customs duties for processed agricultural products, taking into account the impact of the differences in prices between the EU/ Norway/Iceland for basic agricultural products. Protocol 3 entered into force as from 1 January 2002. New negotiations have been concluded between the Commission and Norway in March 2004 with regard to the elimination of the non-agricultural component of customs duties on products in Table 1 of Protocol 3. Revised tariffs are scheduled to enter into force as from 1 July 2004.

According to Article 19, the Contracting Parties shall “continue their efforts with a view to achieving progressive liberalisation of agricultural trade” and carry out reviews of trade in agricultural products at two-yearly intervals. Negotiations on tariff reductions and increases in quotas for some basic agricultural products between Norway and the EU have taken place in 2002. A draft agreement has been finalised in December 2002. The agreement in the form of an exchange of letters entered into force as from 1 July 2003.

Norwegian Agricultural Policy
Although there are few formal links between the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the EU and Norwegian agricultural policy, many of the policy objectives (e.g. multifunctional and sustainable agriculture throughout the territory) and design (market/price regulations combined with agricultural support) coincide. In the ongoing WTO negotiations the EU and Norway have common interests in gaining acceptance for the European model of agriculture.

In December 1999 the Norwegian Government presented a white paper on Norwegian agricultural policy, which focused on the price gap between agricultural prices in the EU and Norway and the need to reduce this gap for various reasons, including trade leakage. It also focused on the multifunctional role of agriculture in Norway and the corresponding need for border protection for Norwegian agriculture. The parliament took note of the views set out in the white paper in May 2000. The agricultural policy is also modified through the annual agricultural agreements between the government and the two farmer’s unions and through the annual state budget.

Reform of the EU’s agricultural policy
The present CAP was decided in 1999 (Agenda 2000) and exists for the years 2000-2006. However, new proposals for amendments in regulations have been put forward by the Commission in January 2003. A revised CAP for the coming years was decided by the Council in June 2003 and the Council Regulation 1782/2003 was formally approved in September 2003.

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