It was announced on the 4th June 2021 that the UK has negotiated a new trade deal with Norway. The agreement will be ratified once the UK and Norway have completed their national approval procedures.

As North Sea neighbours, the UK and Norway are significant trading partners. According to the ONS, trade between the UK and Norway was worth over £20 billion in 2020 and Norway now supplies 40% of the UK’s energy needs.

The deal contains a number of commitments relating to climate change, the environment and employment rights, as well as general commitments to support energy transition. The goal is to enhance awareness and to increase acceptance of the need to ensure that trade contributes to sustainable development.

While the agreement reached ensures a predictable framework for UK business, it is not as comprehensive as the arrangements that existed between the UK and Norway prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The previous EEA Agreement with Norway provided for free movement of goods, services, capital and people between the UK and Norway.

The agreement does however include dedicated chapters on digital trade which are intended to limit unnecessary paperwork. Electronic documents, contracts and signatures will allow goods to move seamlessly across borders, saving time and money.

The deal will also significantly cut tariffs for exporters to Norway on many goods including farmed products and Scotch Whisky. Reduced import tariffs on shrimps, prawns and haddock will also reduce costs for UK fish processing.

There is also provision for highly-skilled professionals to enter Norway for business purposes, meaning faster and simpler visa processes and the deal includes professional qualification recognition – allowing nurses, vets, lawyers and other professions to have a clear route for their professional qualifications to be recognised in the partner countries.

Scotland in particular has a close trading relationship with Norway - with energy, food and drink, and tourism sectors especially seeing brisk business done between the two countries over many decades.

Strong cultural ties abound too, with the links between Aberdeen and Stavanger bringing about collaboration on the successful Nuart street art festival in the Granite City being just one prominent example.

If your organisation would like to take advantage of the new trade deal to explore growth in Norway, please get in touch and our experts can offer an insight into the opportunities available across the North Sea.