½ of the seafood via a 3rd party to the UK

CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council, Renate LarsenCEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council, Renate Larsen, is anxious about how Brexit will affect trade in Norwegian seafood. Photo: Marius Fiskum/The Norwegian Seafood Council

½ of the Norwegian seafood via a 3rd party to the UK

Half of the Norwegian seafood goes via EU/EEA countries or China en route to the UK. It can, therefore, be very complicated to make a good trade deal if the British crash out of the EU.

CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council, Renate Larsen, informs Kyst.no that she is very anxious to see the outcome of Brexit:

“In fact, only half of the seafood from Norway to the UK goes directly, while the other goes via other EU/EEA countries or China. It can, therefore, be complicated to conclude trade deals, especially if it ends up with a hard Brexit”.

Larsen emphasises that people are worried about the export of salmon, cod and haddock alike:

“What we recently heard at our seminar in London is a very clear message, that both importers and exporters must prepare for different scenarios.”

The seminar she refers to is the «UK-Norwegian Seafood Summit», which the Norwegian Seafood Council arranged in London on Wednesday.

“There was a very good attendance from Norway, and also from the British. It is clear that they have appreciated this as a meeting place in relation to being able to talk together. I also think many need to meet in relation to the great uncertainty that follows Brexit. It has been a record entry for this year’s event,” she explains.

Depending on workable solutions

The Norwegian Minister of Fisheries, Harald T. Nesvik, has been in London as well. He has met with the relevant British authorities:

“We hope that whatever happens, there will be good opportunities for trade between Norway and the UK in the future.”

Despite that Nesvik emphasises that there has been an amicable dialogue between Norway and the UK, it is to little avail, as much of the fish detours via EU to the UK.

“We are really dependent on the UK and the EU reaching acceptable solutions between themselves,” Larsen affirms.

Second largest growth market

Larsen highlights that the UK was the second largest growth market for Norwegian seafood in 2018.

It is a very important market. It is, therefore, natural that there are many who are worried about the consequences of Brexit.

What happens first, is that the UK must find out whether it will be a hard or soft Brexit, before considering what emerges from possible negotiations:

“We will probably be held in suspense for quite some time regarding what the outcome will be, something which nobody has the foggiest idea about.”

She emphasizes that the Norwegian Seafood Council will be well placed to provide information to the industry, about what may happen next.

“We will continue to work continuously and steadily in the UK market to keep the relations with the UK industry alive. It is probably more important than ever that we maintain the good relations,” she concludes.

© Kyst.no / #Norway Today