A substantial part of the EEA Agreement concerns the free movement of goods. The main principle emanating from the EEA Agreement is that products may be traded between all 31 EEA States without customs duties or hindrance from national regulations. This does not mean, however, that all products can circulate freely regardless of any risks involved. Products must conform to requirements that protect legitimate interests, such as health, safety and the environment. These requirements are adopted by the EU and subsequently incorporated into the EEA Agreement. In certain areas EU product legislation is complemented by European harmonised standards. Where there are no EU requirements, the EEA States may maintain national regulations, provided that they fulfil certain strict criteria and respect the principle of mutual recognition.
In order to ensure a fair and efficient market, the EEA Agreement also contains EU legislation in the fields of intellectual property, competition, state aid and public procurement.
Subcommittee I, composed of the three EEA EFTA States, prepares the incorporation into the EEA Agreement of legislation that relates to the free movement of goods, competition, state aid, public procurement and energy. Subcommittee I is assisted by 11 working groups and 24 expert groups.
Under the EFTA Council, the Committees on Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade Facilitation and Origin and Customs Experts - all composed of representatives of the four EFTA countries - deal with revisions to the EFTA Convention (Vaduz Convention), standardisation and conformity assessment issues, requests for funding of joint EU-EFTA quality infrastructure projects geared towards third countries, and the coordination of positions on relevant trade facilitation and customs matters.
For further information, please see the Goods Fact Sheet.