Norway is the largest exporter of seafood to the Ukrainian market. More than 50 000 tonnes and 1,5 billion NOK worth of seafood is traded with Ukraine every year. Norwegian seafood is important for the Ukrainian consumer for its healthy food benefits, at the same time the Ukrainian seafood market is getting increasingly important for the Norwegian seafood industry. Traditionally Ukraine is a very important market for the Norwegian industry that exports pelagic seafood. However, trends are moving to more luxurious and high-end products following the increased purchasing power of Ukrainians. Hence, in 2020 Ukraine also passed Belarus, Japan, and the US, making it the largest market for Norwegian trout globally, with a trade worth 500 MILL NOK. An impressive doubling compared to the preceding year.
The main fish species traded between Norway and Ukraine is Salmon, Herring, Trout and Mackerel.
More extensive information and an overview of Norwegian companies exporting seafood from Norway can be found on the website of our long-time member The Norwegian Seafood Council
Aquaculture Development in Ukraine: Roadmap
The idea and necessity of a roadmap for aquaculture development in Ukraine is due to the considerable untapped potential for improvements in the sector. In 2016, the Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce (NUCC) and State Fisheries Agency of Ukraine initiated discussions and started consolidation of various stakeholders, including government, expert community, business representatives and civil society organizations, under the idea to develop a roadmap on aquaculture. This roadmap was drafted with the generous support of the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries and the Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce.
The development of the roadmap was led by NUCC and the Ukrainian think tank EasyBusiness in collaboration with the lawyers of Ukrainian law firm EverLegal and The State Fisheries Agency of Ukraine, with the aim to develop the aquaculture industry in Ukraine and approximate best Norwegian and International experiences into Ukrainian practices.
Update on Seafood as of June 16th, 2022:
Since 2016, the seafood industry has experienced rapid and consistent growth. Norwegian seafood exports to Ukraine increased by 66% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period the previous year. The seafood industry could boast remarkable performance even during the pandemic. Apart from strong export numbers, Ukraine was gaining traction as a reprocessing hub for Norwegian seafood. The PEM Convention granted the exporting party (in this case, Ukraine) originating status and so opened a gateway for Norwegian seafood to be exported at lower tariffs when exported to EU through a third party rather than directly.
As soon as the war broke out, the Ukrainian government issued a prohibition on international transactions for commodities that were not on the list of critical imports. Since fish was not initially on this list, our members reported a complete halt in the Norwegian-Ukrainian trade of seafood. As a result, several local businesses temporarily switched from commercial to humanitarian operations. Egersund Seafood (a substantial importer of Norwegian fish and a recipient of the NUCC Fundraising) is one of them and has been assisting with food distribution in areas where they normally run shops.
On March 19th, seafood was added to the government’s list of critical imports, allowing for the resumption of trading fish. The statistics showed a considerable increase in trade of seafood the following month. According to April 2022 figures, Ukraine imported Norwegian seafood worth 79 million NOK, which is an impressive 56 percent of the numbers of April the previous year. In May 2022, the number is up at 74 percent of the value in May 2021. Despite the positive figures, there is still a long way to go to obtain some semblance of normalcy. Nonetheless, NUCC strongly encourages Norwegian companies to maintain their business relations with Ukrainian companies and will assist them in doing so.
NUCC has recently opened a dialogue with The Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industries and Fisheries about the role of Eksfin (Export Finance Norway) regarding the risks involved in doing business during wartime. NUCC urges companies that would benefit from export credit insurance to direct their request directly to Eksfin or through the Chamber of Commerce.