The economy will face new barriers to trade as soon as the UK leaves the European Union and the internal market, from public procurement to personal movement. “It is important to ensure that trade in goods between Norway and the United Kingdom can continue after 1 January under the same conditions as today. This temporary agreement will protect our interests as we continue our negotiations for a free trade agreement as soon as possible. After the EU, the UK is our largest trading partner and our two countries agree on the need to maintain close and comprehensive cooperation,” said Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Seride. Last year, the UK`s trade with Iceland and Norway amounted to $27 billion, including more than $20 billion in goods. The fixed-term agreement will be based on the agreement signed in April 2019 by Norway and the UNITED Kingdom, which guarantees continuity of trade in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Today`s agreement blocks duty-free trade for businesses worth more than $20 billion between our countries and supports jobs and livelihoods across Britain and beyond. OSLO (Reuters) – Norway and Britain have signed a temporary and limited agreement to maintain trade in goods in the absence of a final Brexit trade deal by the end of the year, as the Norwegian Ministry of Industry announced on Wednesday. Today, the United Kingdom is treated as if it were still a member of the EEA for cross-border trade in goods.
Trade with Norway is governed by the same tariffs and customs regimes, as if the United Kingdom were an EEA state. This plan may also be extended, although such an extension has not yet been announced. Norway is not in the European Union and Britain left the bloc on 31 January, but both countries still operate under the same market rules of the European Economic Area (EEA), which consists of EU member states and EFTA (European Free Trade Association). With Britain looking set for a Brexit without a deal, the Norwegian government has signed a temporary agreement to ensure continued trade. The agreement covers trade in goods and ensures that 95% of merchandise trade with Norway and more than 90% with Iceland remain duty-free, giving companies confidence that they will be able to continue working under the same conditions as they are today, when the transition period ends. Negotiations for a free trade agreement are underway and the parties are working to conclude negotiations as soon as possible. However, much remains to be done before a free trade agreement comes into force. Norway and the United Kingdom have recognised that it would not be possible to conclude an agreement that could come into force on 1 January 2021 and have therefore agreed to conclude a temporary regime for trade in goods. “We agreed to put in place a temporary regime. That`s good news. We are now in close talks with the UK to adapt the agreement, which means we can continue to avoid tariffs on industrial products. However, it is important for businesses to be aware that this agreement is both broad and time-limited,” said Iselin Nybé, Minister of Trade and Industry.