Trade relations EU-Norway

As part of the EEA Agreement, Norway is part of the European Single Market. In practice, the Agreement allows goods, capital, services and people to circulate freely in the whole EEA Area, including the EFTA countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. To ensure that equal rights apply for all companies in the area, the EEA Agreement also features common rules for competition and state subsidies.

Norway is the EU's fifth most important trading partner, following US, China, Russia and Switzerland. EU is on the other hand Norway's most important trading partner, with 80 percent of Norwegian exports going to the EU, and 65 percent of Norwegian imports originating from EU member states. 

The EEA agreement
Although Norway is not a member of the EU, the country enjoys free access to the Single Market, in compliance with the EEA agreement from 1994. According to the Agreement, Norway pledges to follow relevant EU regulations in areas such as transport, competition and company law. Although the common fishery policy (CFP) and the common agricultural policy (CAP) are not covered by the EEA Agreement, Norway remains an integrated part of the Single Market in all other areas.

EU: Importing energy, exporting cars
Crude petroleum and natural gas represent nearly half of EU imports from Norway. Next after Russia, Norway is the EU's largest supplier of energy products, including crude petroleum, natural gas and gas liquids. The import of oil and gas from Norway is the main contributor to EU's negative trade balance which accounted for 47 billion euro in 2011. Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands are the greatest importers of Norwegian oil and gas in the EU.

Norway is an important supplier of metals to the European market. In 2012, EU countries imported metals worth over 4 billion euro. Norway is the EU's most important source to aluminium.

The EU supplies mainly manufactured goods to the Norwegian market. Machinery and transport equipment stands for almost half of the EU's exports to Norway. In 2012, the EU exported transport machinery for over 16 billion euro, which contributes to Norway's standing as EU's seventh largest export partner.

Trade with fish and agricultural products
EU's common fishery and agricultural policy is not part of the EEA Agreement. According to the EEA Agreement article 19, Norway and the EU are nonetheless committed to gradually liberalize their trade in agricultural products. Bilateral tariff quotas and tariff-free quotas are established between Norway and the EU for certain agricultural products such as cheese, meats, fruit, vegetables and flowers, among others. 

The EU exported agricultural products to Norway worth 3, 3 billion euro in 2011, while Norway exported agricultural products to the EU for 453 million euro. Norway is the EU's largest supplier of fish. In 2012, the EU imported Norwegian seafood worth 3, 8 billion euro.

The EU has introduced an exemption from duty on several Norwegian fish species, like cod, saithe, haddock, Greenland halibut and halibut. France, Poland, Denmark and Sweden are the largest importers of Norwegian fish in the EU.

Direct investment EU - Norway
Direct investments play an important role in the economic relationship between the EU and Norway. A considerable amount of the investments are directed towards the petroleum and gas sector. Large European enterprises like BP and BG (UK), Eni (Italy), RWE Dea (Germany) and Gaz de France-Suez (France) are involved in the development of the Norwegian sector.

The EU countries accounted for 63 percent of all direct investments to Norway in 2011, equivalent to nearly 73 billion euro. Sweden is the EU country which invests the most in Norway, with a share of 16 percent.

EU receives 65 percent of all Norwegian direct investments. In 2011, Norwegian direct investments to the EU accounted for over 91 billion euro. The Netherlands is the EU country which receives most direct investments from Norway.

EU merchandise trade with Norway

  • EU's merchandise exports to Norway 2011: 45,6 billion euro
  • EU's merchandise import from Norway 2011: 93,5 billion euro

EU trade in commercial services with Norway

  • EU's export of commercial services to Norway 2011: 20,9 billion euro
  • EU's import of commercial services to Norway 2011: 11,4 billion euro