Cost reduction of EUR 9.5 million if tariff on imported salmon gets cut

Katrina Poulsen

The Danish Seafood Association(DSA) has sent an appeal to EU for tariff-free import of 80.000 tons of Atlantic salmon to Denmark each year.

At Danish Seafood Associations head office at Axelborg in front of the famed amusement park, Tivoli in Copenhagen, SalmonBusiness meet Poul Melgaard Jensen, CEO of Danish Seafood Association. The CEO has just a couple of days ago sent out a request to remove a tariff on imported salmon and wishes to bring this matter into the spotlight.

At the moment there is a 2 % levy on salmon fish imported to Denmark. DSA wish to remove this levy and has in collaboration with the rest of the European seafood associations applied the EU to remove it.

In 2019 62,000 tons of head off gutted salmon and trout was imported to Denmark. If the appeal is approved by the EU Commission the association estimate a cost reduction of EU 9.5 million. 

“We have proposed a duty-free yearly quota of 80.000 tons to the EU. If we calculate from an average price of 60 NOK, 2 % would equal NOK 96 million in a year. It would facilitate trade for mutual benefit,” says Poul Melgaard Jensen.

The request is sent from EU Fish Processors and Traders Association (AIPCE) to the EU Commission.

DSA has today 116 members from Danish seafood companies in Denmark, where most seats at the table are occupied by salmon producers, farmers and supply companies located mostly on the Western Coast of Denmark.

Denmark is a huge transit country for salmon and trout, where the salmon is either processed at smokeries in DK, made into fillets or transported as whole fish to the European market. 

“The prizes have been on a relatively high level for years now. We want an exemption from customs duties for the salmon that goes into processing in Denmark and the rest of EU, says Poul Melgaard Jensen and explains that EU has a scheme for duty-free fish commodities from third countries, and Atlantic salmon should, according to Poul Melgaard Jensen, be under this umbrella. For that reason, the association want to have duty free input from outside the EU. We can’t have this amount of salmon from EU aquaculture nor fisheries and the EU scheme is exactly there to compensate EU industry with import.

“We need to import farmed salmon. This is why we have asked EU for a quota,” Poul Melgaard Jensen concludes.

The appeal has not yet been presented to the Danish Farming Association, but Poul Melgaard expects them to fight against the implementation of the proposal to protect the three Danish salmon farming companies.

The appeal is expected to be processed at the beginning of April this year.