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Faroe Islands

EU trade relations with the Faroe Islands. Facts, figures and latest developments.

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  • Faroe Islands
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  • Negotiations and agreements
  • Trade policy

The Faroe Islands' trade relations with the EU are governed by the EU-Faroe Islands Free Trade Agreement. The Agreement is a first-generation agreement which entered into force in 1997, focusing on tariff liberalisation for goods.

The EU is the Faroe Islands’ largest trading partner by far, followed by Russia, the UK, China and Norway. The Faroe Islands are included in the EU’s Arctic Policy, where the EU is committed to investing in the future of people living in the Arctic, stimulating better education, sustainable growth and jobs.

Trade picture

  • The EU is the Faroe Islands’ biggest trading partner, accounting for 36.9% of the country’s total trade in goods with the world in 2023. 52.5% of the Faroe Islands’ imports came from the EU, and 24.1% of the islands' exports went to the EU. 
  • Total trade in goods between the EU and the Faroe Islands in 2023 amounted to €1.8 billion. The EU’s imports represented €773 million, and were dominated by fishery products (€648 million, 84%). The EU’s exports totalled €1.031 million, led by manufactured products (€577 million, 56%). 

The EU and the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands have a unique relationship with the EU given that it is neither part of the EU, nor a member of the EEA unlike Norway and Iceland, nor an Overseas Country and Territory, like Greenland. With extensive autonomy under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands decided not to become a part of the European Communities when Denmark joined in 1973. As such, the Treaties do not apply to the Faroe Islands (TFEU Article 355, 5 (a)). Formal relations between the EU and the Faroe Islands are currently based on three separate bilateral agreements dealing with fisheries, trade in goods and scientific and technological cooperation.

In March 2024, the EU and the Faroe Islands signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on enhanced cooperation. The MoU recognises shared values, principles and commitments to democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights, peace and stability, international law, and sustainable development.

The Free Trade Agreement between the EU and the Faroe Islands, which covers trade in goods, came into effect in 1997. The Agreement was supplemented in 1999 with a Protocol on Veterinary Matters.

Committees and Dialogues

The Joint Committee established by the Agreement is responsible for ensuring the proper implementation of the Agreement and meets regularly to consider relevant issues.

Trading with the Faroe Islands

Rules and requirements for trading with the Faroe Islands:

Trade relations are part of the EU's overall political and economic relations with the Faroe Islands.