Fuss over flowers sows EU complaint

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Norway’s decision to suddenly impose a 72 percent import duty on flowers known as hortensia (hydrangea) has, as warned, led to Denmark filing a complaint with authorities in the European Union (EU). Bendt Bendtsen, a former Danish government minister who’s now a member of the EU Parliament, wants the European Commission to address Norwegian protectionism.

Bendtsen and other Danish and European officials are provoked by the new import tariffs aimed at keeping cheaper foreign products out of the Norwegian market. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that Bendtsen has referred Norway’s new customs duty as “abuse” of the tariff system, and asks whether the EU agrees that Norway “wants and gets access to the European market for its own products, for example salmon, while they unpunished are allowed to block (European imports) … by juggling tariffs and classification rules.”

Denmark’s trade minister has threatened to respond to the new hydrangea tariff, and demands for higher tariffs in on products like meat and cheese, by slapping higher import duties on Nowegian salmon and oil.

Views and News staff