The European Commission and Iceland initialled on 17 September two agreements on the further liberalisation of trade in agricultural products and foodstuffs and one on the protection of Geographical Indications (GIs).
These agreements represent a substantial step towards market integration between the EU and Iceland as trade will be duty-free for more tan 95% of processed agricultural products and many basic agricultural products.
Currently 66.4% of EU agricultural products enter Iceland duty-free. With the new agreement, Iceland will increase the duty-free access to 91.3% of EU basic agricultural products in terms of trade value.
In addition, the EU will benefit from increased quotas in particular for cheese, beef, pigmeat and poultry.
With the agreement on GIs, the full list of 1150 EU's protected agricultural products and foodstuffs will enjoy in Iceland the same level of protection as in the EU market.
Since the entry into force of the 1972 Iceland-EU free trade agreement and of the EEA agreement, tariff barriers between the EU and Iceland have remained for a number of agricultural, fish and food products. Trade in agricultural and food products between Iceland and the EU is worth over € 236 million per year, on average.
The agreements will be forwarded to the relevant authorities in the EU and Iceland, for scrutiny and formal adoption before their final entry into force.
Friday September 18, 2015/ EC/ European Union.