Duty imposed on Norwegian salmon

The European Union is introducing measures to protect Scottish salmon farmers from cheap foreign imports

The European Union is introducing measures to protect Scottish salmon farmers from cheap foreign imports.

Anti-dumping duties will be applied to salmon imports from Norway for the next six months in an effort to shield small Scottish and Irish fish farmers.

Norway is not a member of the EU but it has 60% of the salmon market.

The extra import duties will add an average of 16% to the cost of buying Norwegian salmon. Norwegian producers are accused of unfair competition.

They have strenuously denied the accusation.

Level field
Independent Scottish salmon producers said the new duty levelled the competitive playing field and would protect hundreds of jobs in areas such as the Highlands and Islands.

They estimate cut-price imports have cost the Scottish industry nearly £200m over the last four years.

Norway said it was not threatening reprisals on goods made in the EU but said it would take the issue up with the World Trade Organisation.

Three-quarters of the Scottish salmon industry is owned by Norwegian or Dutch companies.

Angus Morgan, secretary of the European Union Salmon Producers Group and a salmon farmer in Sutherland, said: "In Scotland we have suffered dramatically.

"The campaign started for us in 2002 which was when the Norwegian industry started to circumvent the arrangements on minimum prices.

"It's gone on from there to this very important day for us when duties are now being put on Norwegian salmon."

He added: "We rely upon the work that's been carried out by the commission which identified that there had been a massive increase in imports in 2003 and a very heavy reduction in price.

"You really have to question the interests and indeed the practices of the Norwegian Government which has absolutely denied - and has been in denial - over the actions of their industry."

Norway said it was not threatening reprisals on goods made in the EU but said it would take the issue up with the World Trade Organisation.

Three-quarters of the Scottish salmon industry is owned by Norwegian or Dutch companies.