Customs duties on a number of food products imported from the European Union will decrease on May 1 when Iceland’s customs agreement with the EU goes into effect, mbl.is reports.
An announcement issued by the Icelandic Federation of Trade (IFT) provided a number of examples of items whose customs duties will drop significantly. Duties on french fries will undergo largest reduction, dropping from 76% to 46%. The duties on ice cream, popsicles, and sorbet will also go down significantly, dropping from 30% to 18%.
Other items that will see toll reductions include frozen pizza, filled pastas, frozen garlic bread, filled chocolates, hazelnut spread, and chocolate biscuits, among others.
The new customs agreement will also make allowances for higher quotas on meats and cheeses being imported from the EU. The beef quota will increase to 696 tons, from a previous 100. The pork quota will go from 200 to 700 tons, and the poultry quota will increase from 200 to 1056 tons. The cheese quote was go up to 380 tons from a previous 100.
These raised quotas will, in the opinion of Ólafur Stephensen, the secretary general of the IFT, encourage modest competition and push Icelandic agricultural producers to improve both their products and their selection. Members of Centre Party have, however, announced their opposition to the new customs agreement, with MP Birgir Þórarinsson saying that Icelandic farmers would not be competitive with foreign producers because of the environmental conditions in Iceland.