Free Movement of Goods

The EEA Agreement creates an internal market where goods can circulate freely between the 30 EEA States. The free movement of goods is underpinned by the concept that products originating in one EEA State may be traded freely in all EEA States without internal frontiers such as customs duties or divergent national product requirements.

Part II of the EEA Agreement governs the establishment of the free movement of goods in the EEA. It lays out basic rules such as the prohibition on customs duties on imports and exports (and any charges having equivalent effect), the prohibition of quantitative restrictions on imports and exports between EEA States and the prohibition of the discriminatory internal taxation of the products of an EEA State.

The free movement of goods is then secured through the elimination of technical barriers to trade (TBT) in the EEA such as through harmonised product requirements or the mutual recognition of products. For more information, please consult mechanisms enabling the free movement of goods.

Subcommittee I on the Free Movement of Goods and the Working Groups and Expert Groups constituted thereunder are responsible for the processing of EU legislation relating to the free movement of goods.

Product Sectors related to the Free Movement of Goods that fall within the scope of the EEA Agreement

The EEA Agreement provides for specific technical legislation in a number of product sectors.  For more information about these sectors, please see the list below. 

 

Standardisation, Accreditation and Conformity Assessment and Mutual Recognition Agreements

To circulate freely within the European Economic Area, products must conform to requirements laid down by the EEA product legislation which is aimed at protectConing health, safety and the environment. In many sectors, the EEA product legislation is complemented by European harmonised standards. The compliance of products with legislation and standards is demonstrated through conformity assessment methods, such as testing, inspection and certification. Conformity assessment bodies offering these services can have their competence, independence and impartiality formally verified through accreditation.

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Other areas related to the Free Movement of Goods

Although the EEA Agreement does not constitute a customs union, it does contain provisions on customs matters between the Contracting Parties. Furthermore, although the EEA Agreement does not include the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies, it does contain provisions for the liberalisation of trade between the Contracting Parties in these areas.

 

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Resources

The Goods Factsheet

 

Contact

The Internal Market Division is responsible for the Free Movement of Goods at the EFTA Secretariat.

 

Director
Internal Market Division

+32 2 286 17 40

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Seminar on the European Economic Area - EEA - 9 February 2021