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Swedish cheese makers fear Norway import tariffs

Published: 14 Oct 2012 08:19 GMT+02:00

"The new system means that there will be no cheese exports more or less," said Fredrik von Unge at dairy industry organisation Svensk Mjölk to the TT news agency.

The Norwegian government has mooted the massive hikes in import tariffs on cheese and meat products in its budget for 2013.

Hard cheeses are set to be subjected to import tariffs equating to 277 percent of their value. Tolls are currently 27 Norwegian kroner ($4.7), regardless of value.

Norway is also planning to raise tariffs on imports of lamb and beef.

Denmark has responded angrily to the new Norwegian import tariff regime, while Sweden is reluctant to enter into a "trade war" with their Scandinavian neighbours.

The Norwegian Agrarian Association (Norges Bondelag) however welcomed the move.

"It is absolutely crucial if we are to have a farming industry in Norway or not," according to Nils Björke at the association.

"If you look at the development in Sweden, where milk production is declining, this confirms that we have a duty to maintain agriculture. Customs tariffs limit the growth of imports and is a signal from the authorities that they want farming in Norway," he said.

The decision will have a significant impact on the Swedish cheese industry as Norway is currently the largest export market.

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

09:36 October 14, 2012 by byke
With such taxes being put on foreign imports, such as cheese produced in Sweden. It will lead to any import of cheese into Norway to be foreseen as a luxury item. Or an item of superior quality, given the cost offset.

Somehow I can't see the vast majority of Swedish cheeses being foreseen as "luxury" or high quality items. And this is where Sweden will really feel the pressure as it will lead to Norwegians to offset any tax by ensuring that the reduced imports are justifiable with the tax levy.

So the bigger question is, are there justifiable profits in luxury cheeses in regards to export. And I would that require a higher quality of yield in regards to dairy - resulting in the need to import more of its base ingredients.

And on top of that it would also require skills in an industry which for many years has gone unchallenged. As "cheap" has sold. Which may be unrealistic for Sweden in regards to other nations who produce cheese and have a better reputation for quality.
10:23 October 14, 2012 by Keith #5083
Yet another Good reason for Norwegians to come an shop in Sweden. Ya, det er deilig å vaere Norsk i Sverige.
14:00 October 14, 2012 by entry
No clue as to what they are doing in Norway with regards to dairy products but Norway slapping such a high trade tariff seems unreasonable.

"Two Swedes have been arrested by Norwegian police for smuggling more than 250kg of butter into the country, offloading one consignment for more than £25 a packet."

http://bit.ly/X8AJkM

If people risk arrest to smuggle butter in to Norway I think a Cheesy Crime Syndicate is soon to follow.

Look at the Nobel Peace Prize awards that Norway has given out and then try to think how you would reason with them???
20:48 October 14, 2012 by Europaia
Actually, entry, the problem is the fact that Norway aren't in the EU. If they were in the EU then there would be a single market and they wouldn't be able to impose these tariffs. This tariff rise is a violation of agreements with the EU and has annoyed the rest of the EU too. So, what Sweden and Denmark should do is propose to the rest of the EU that we slam tariffs on imports of Norwegian goods, especially agricultural, into the 27 countries of the EU.

http://www.thelocal.no/page/view/eu-anger-at-new-norway-tariff-plans

For a more in-depth view:

http://www.newsinenglish.no/2012/09/20/trade-war-looms-over-higher-tariffs/
08:38 October 15, 2012 by azimuth
277%????!!!! Holy s**t! Those Norwegians should be totally out of their minds....
09:15 October 15, 2012 by skogsbo
Europia, being in the EU is the problem, not the solution. Price fixing, subsidies, regulations that aren't enforced in southern Europe, but abided by in Northern Europe has wrecked farming in Europe. Thankfully the end is slowly coming.

As for cheese and meat, this is a perfect chance for Swedes to set up small farm shops on the border. Not massive supermarkets, but little enterprises where the locals sell to other private individuals. In every problem, there is a solution and the business minded folk will make the most of it, if they are sharp enough and quick off the mark.

In the 80/90s think how much those booze supermakets made in Calais and Bologne? Many were actually owned and run, by Brits. A clever Norwegian will set up a shop in Sweden as a partnership perhaps?
10:20 October 17, 2012 by Lemon1987
@09:15 October 15, 2012 by skogsbo

Good point. People in the rest of the Europe just cant see slow ruining of domestic products by cheap imports. EU is not so accommodating as it first looks like.
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