The European seafood industry is expressing deep concern over the impact of a Norwegian salmon production tax on market stability.
Details of these concerns from the European fish farmers trade association, the European Fish Processors Association (AIPCE) and the European Federation of National Organisations of Importers and Exporters of Fish (CEP) have been revealed just as the tax comes into force.
"AIPCE-CEP ask for urgent measures to return to normal operations and ensure a predictable situation for EU buyers of Norwegian aquaculture products." they wrote in a reply to the Norwegian government and Virginijus Sinkevicius, the EU commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.
The two organizations represent 19 EU nations, including 3,900 companies and 128,000 employees.
"For the Norwegian salmon and trout industry, this is a major challenge as the tax will be introduced with effect 1 Jan 2023," the organizations wrote.
They are particularly concerned about the contract market drying up.
In November, IntraFish reported on the reluctance of buyers and sellers in the US to market to strike contract deals because of uncertainty surrounding Norwegian salmon prices in light of the then proposed tax.
The European Salmon Smokers Association (ESSA) also added its voice to the chorus of concern, highlighting the fact the a final decision on the tax will be made by Norwegian lawmakers in the second quarter of 2023.
"This has major implications for conditions for the industry - which will have uncertainty for almost six months," ESSA wrote.
The Norwegian salmon tax will be based on the actual price for which salmon farmers sell their products during 2023, rather than Nasdaq’s average spot price for salmon as first proposed in September when the Norwegian government announced a new 40 percent tax on salmon producers.
Norway's Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum highlighted updated details to the government's aquaculture tax proposal in a letter to Parliament last month.
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