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Norway/Iceland: Back to a level playing field
by Editor (comments: 0)
From March 2017, after a delay of 8 years, the EU will permit imports of organic salmon from EEA countries that have been certified in compliance with EU stipulations.
Over time, EU rules pertaining to organic products have in many cases become stricter, and they have applied to organic salmon since 2009. However, since the latest organic aquaculture rules were not part of the EEA agreement, Norway and Iceland were still operating according to regulations that were no longer valid in the EU and, as a result, imports from Norway and Iceland were not accepted as organic. When the deadline for compliance by all producers and organic products with current EU regulations was reached in 2015, because the rules had not been incorporated in the EEA agreement, producers in EEA countries and EU importers were at a disadvantage
The issue was settled by the decision of the EEA Joint Committee. From March 2017, after a delay of 8 years, the EU will permit imports of organic salmon from EEA countries that have been certified in compliance with EU stipulations. With the relevant EU regulations in place, the EEA agreement creates a single market for EEA and EU countries so that organic products from Norway and Iceland can now be marketed in the EU. For Phil Hogan, the Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, the decision to incorporate the latest EU regulations into the agreement with EEA countries makes admirable sense. Organic producers in EEA and EU countries are now operating on an equal footing. In his comments he emphasised that there can be no watering down of EU organic standards and that maintaining consumer confidence and the credibility of the EU logo were absolute priorities.