Since the early 1990s, the European Free Trade Association has established an extensive network of contractual free trade relations all over the world. It is the goal of EFTA's third-country policy to safeguard the economic interests of its Member States, to support and reinforce the process of European and interregional integration, and to contribute to worldwide efforts to liberalise trade and investment.
The EFTA States jointly negotiate free trade agreements (FTAs) with partners outside the European Union in order to strengthen their competitive position and increase market access for their products. As a result, economic operators in the EFTA countries enjoy access to one of the world’s largest networks of preferential trade relations, which continues to expand thanks to an ambitious agenda of negotiations. Today, EFTA has 27 FTAs covering 38 countries and territories outside the EU.
EFTA Trade Statistics is a new, interactive tool that gives insight on trade relations with EFTA's partners over time and by type of merchandise. The tool provides data on the trade relations between the EFTA States and their trading partners from 2002 - 2016.
This interactive map gives an overview of EFTA's preferential trade relations with partners worldwide. Click on any country shown in colour for more information. The borders shown are without prejudice to their legal status. A picture of the map (large version) can be downloaded.
Chronology of EFTA’s Free Trade Agreements, Declarations on Cooperation, Free Trade Negotiations and Exploratory Processes. Current Agreements and Declarations are presented according to the chronological order of signing.
EFTA FTAs cover trade in industrial products (including fish) and agricultural products. They contain provisions on, among others, a joint committee, dispute settlement, rules of origin and trade remedies, as well as on competition and the protection of intellectual property rights.
EFTA’s FTAs are notified to the World Trade Organization (WTO). They build on WTO rules and commitments, thereby enhancing framework conditions for transborder economic exchange and creating added value in terms of reducing obstacles to trade and legal security. The EFTA States see FTAs as a complement to, and not a substitute for, the multilateral trading system.
This page contains information regarding customs and origin matters in the EFTA States
In addition to the bilateral technical cooperation provided by the Member States, EFTA provides technical cooperation to assist our partner countries in harmonising their statutory frameworks and implementing current regulations to facilitate trade. This assistance is provided under the EEA Agreement and existing free trade agreements. In some cases, EFTA also provides technical cooperation to potential free trade partners.