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UK-Greenland FTA: It's a fishy affair

(FREE) Negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement were formally launched on 27 January 2022 seeking to reduce or remove tariffs on seafood, as well as strengthen other aspects of the relationship between the two countries.

The bilateral free trade agreement between the UK and Greenland will be Greenland's first trade agreement.

The Free Trade Agreement aims to restore the bilateral trade framework between the two countries that were lost when the UK left the EU.

The UK is Greenland's most important market for cooked and peeled shrimp and an important market for cod fillets and other fish products. The purpose of the free trade agreement is to reduce or eliminate UK customs duties on Greenlandic seafood products when the products are brought into the UK. With the UK as a significant market for Greenland, it is important to create similar good trade relations between our two countries.

Trade between the two countries was worth £10 million in 2020, with coldwater shrimp - worth an estimated £49 million - additionally shipped from Greenland to the UK.

The deal will provide a platform to deepen cooperation on ensuring regional stability in the Arctic as well as collaboration on UK priorities including science, technology, climate change and development.

Greenland is a major exporter of seafood to the UK. Cutting tariffs of up to 20% on Greenlandic specialities like prawns and cod fillets would benefit UK supermarkets and catering and hospitality businesses and ultimately consumers, by making room for a reduction in wholesale prices.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) plans to begin negotiations in parallel to gain fishing opportunities in Greenland’s waters, which could bring significant benefits to the UK’s fishing industry.

In 2020, total UK trade with Greenland amounted to £10 million, and DIT estimates that a further £49 million of coldwater shrimp coming into the UK predominantly originated from Greenland that same year.

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