Outline of the system
According to Icelandic law, the measures regulated under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture (which controls the importation of animals, animal products, feed, seeds, fertilizers, plants, plant products and goods of general quarantine concern) can be divided into five categories:
(a) Measures regarding the importation of live animals are contained in Act no. 54/1990 on the importation of animals, regulation no. 444/1982 on fur farming and the importation of fur-bearing animals, and regulation no. 431/2003 on the importation of pets and canine semen. The importer must apply to the Minister of Agriculture for an import licence to import live animals. The Minister is authorised to grant exemptions to this ban only upon the recommendation of the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO). In light of Iceland’s special position as regards animal diseases, the CVO assesses whether contagious agents which are hazardous to animals or people can be carried to Iceland with the animal in question. Data is principally procured from the country of origin in question, i.e. the domestic veterinary regulatory authorities, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), as well as other international organisations dealing with animal diseases.
(b) Measures which apply to import of animal products, soil and other items of general concern are contained in Act no. 25/1993 on animal diseases and prevention thereof and Act no. 66/1998 on veterinary services, as well as regulation no. 509/2004 regarding importation of animal products, soil and other items of general quarantine concern. The same procedure as regards live animals applies with respect to animal products that can carry contagious agents which are hazardous to animals or people. In addition, Act no. 87/1995 amending Act no. 99/1993 on the production, pricing and sale of agricultural products authorizes the Minister of Agriculture to ban the importation of animal products and plant products which have been fed or given growth-promoting agents and hormones during their growth period.
(c) Measures on the importation of freshwater fish and other freshwater animals are contained in Act no. 76/1970 on salmon and trout fishing with a cross reference to Act no. 54/1990 on the importation of live animals. Therefore, the same procedures apply as regards other live animals. Icelandic legislation and regulations in this field are based on EU legislation, according to commitments undertaken under the Agreement establishing the European Economic Area.
(d) Measures which apply to all importation of feeds, fertilizers and seeds are contained in Act no. 22/1994 on control of feeds, fertilizers and seeds. Icelandic legislation and regulations in this field are based on EU legislation, according to commitments undertaken under the Agreement establishing the European Economic Area. The importer notifies the Feed, Seed and Fertilizer Inspectorate on a special document before importation of a product, assuming the product has already been registered by the Feed, Seed and Fertilizer Inspectorate.
(e) Measures which apply to the importation of plants, plant products, soil, and compost for mushroom growing are contained in Act no. 51/1981 on protection against plant diseases and pests. In addition, Act no. 87/1995 amending Act no. 99/1993 on the production, pricing and sale of agricultural products authorizes the Minister of Agriculture to ban import of animal products and plant products which have been fed or given promoting agents and hormones during their growth period.
Imports under (a) to (e) above are generally subject to non-automatic licensing. Some imports under (c) and (d) above are subject to automatic licensing. The measures under (a) above apply to all live animals. Product coverage under (b) above is defined by Article 3 of regulation 509/2004 on measures to prevent the introduction of animal diseases and contaminated products. The measures under (c) above apply to all freshwater fish and animals. The measures under (d) cover all feeds, seeds and fertilizers. The measures under (e) cover all plants, plant products, soil, and compost for mushroom growing.
Nature of licensing
If Automatic, administrative purpose
If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime
Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The purpose of the licensing system is to protect human, animal or plant life or health.
Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The system applies to products originating from which country?
The same rules apply to all countries for (a) to (e) in Q1
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
The controls on the importation of goods specified in this category are statutory requirements under the legislation detailed below:
- Act no. 54/1990 on importation of animals and regulation no. 444/1982 on fur-bearing animals.
- Act no. 25/1993 on animal diseases and prevention thereof, regulation no. 509/2004. Act no. 66/1998 on veterinary services.
- Act no. 76/1970 on salmon and trout fishing.
- Act no. 22/1994 on control of feed, fertilizers and seeds, regulations nos. 340/2001 on control of feed, 301/1995 on control of seeds and 398/1995 on fertilizers and soil improvers (all regulations are based on EU legislation).
- Act no. 51/1981 on protection against plant diseases and pests, regulation no. 189/1990 on import and export of plants and notice no. 110/1992 on fee for inspections of imported plants.
The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for administration of all the legislation regarding live animals, animal products, feed, plants, plant products, seeds, seedlings and fertilizers. The Ministry of Fisheries is responsible for the legislation on treatment of fish products and supervision of their production, except monitoring the health of freshwater fish as well as inspection of fish meal, fish oil and other marine products used as animal feed.
Does the legislation leave designation of products to be subject to licensing to administrative discretion?
The legislation does not allow for administrative discretion regarding goods/items subject to import controls.
Is it possible for the government to abolish the system without legislative approval?
It is not possible for the Government or the executive branch to abolish the systems without legislative approval.
Eligibility of applicants
Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?
What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?
All persons, firms and institutions are eligible to apply for import licenses.
Is there a registration fee?
Is there a published list of authorized importers?
Contact point for information on eligibility
Submission of an application
Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application
What information is required in applications?
Applications for registration of goods and/or import licenses must be made in writing to the relevant authorities. The form of the application and information required will depend on the nature of goods to be imported. The importer should approach the competent authority which has jurisdiction over the goods, specifying the details of the animal, animal product or goods to be imported. The addresses for correspondence are:
Ministry of Agriculture
Tel: 354 560 9750
Telefax: 354 552 1160
Feed, Seed and Fertilizer
Tel: +354 577 1010
Telefax: +354 577 1020
Agricultural Research Institute
Tel: +354 591 1500
Telefax: +354 591 1566
What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?
Window of submission of an application
How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?
Application for an import licence is mandatory in advance of arrival of the goods imported for the first time, to allow time for any necessary checks to be made regarding details supplied etc.
Prior to importation of all goods under Act No. 22/1994, the goods to be imported have to be registered with the Feed, Seed and Fertilizer Inspectorate. Following the initial registration, each time importation of the registered goods takes place the competent authority has to be notified in advance (48 hours for feeding stuffs) to make inspection possible without delaying disembarkation. All changes in the goods following the initial registration have to be registered with the competent authority. A veterinary certificate is required for feeds containing products of animal origin.
Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain
Permits may be issued at any time of the year.
Issuing the license
Can a licence be granted immediately on request?
In most cases, licenses cannot be granted immediately upon request.
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
In certain circumstances import permission can be given for goods which have arrived at the point of entry and where no pre-arranged permission is available.
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
Application for import permission are submitted to the following Agencies/Ministries:
Ministry of Agriculture:
Live animals and their genetic material, fur-bearing animals, animal products and other items of general quarantine concern, fresh water fish and roes, live ornamental fish and roes, compost for mushroom growing.
Feed, Seed and Fertilizer Inspectorate, Ministry of Agriculture:
Feed, seed, fertilizers and soil improvers.
Agricultural Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture:
Plants, plant products, soil.
Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?
Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
Where importation requires periods of quarantine or sanitary treatment so as to eliminate the risk of entry into Iceland of diseases and pests, the importer will usually be required to bear the cost of such action.
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
Specific details of charges may be obtained on inquiry directed to the appropriate permit-issuing authority. Importers of other goods shall bear all expenses that may be incurred in procuring certificates and taking sanitary measures, including sampling and testing deemed necessary by the CVO.
The following inspection fees shall be paid for customs clearance:
- Feed inspection fee, 0,9% of the CIF value.
- Seed inspection fee, 3,1% of the CIF value
- Fertilizer inspection fee, 0,25% of the CIF value.
- Plant inspection fee, 1% and 2 % depending on the tariff number of the CIF value
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
Amount or rate?
Is it refundable?
What is the period of retention?
What is the purpose of this requirement?
Refusal of an application
Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?
Any refusal of an import license will be based on a judgment that the importation in question poses a risk to human, animal, or plant life or health.
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?
Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?
What documents are required upon actual importation?
Necessary documents include official certificates of origin and health.
Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?
Conditions of licensing
What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?
The period of validity of a permit would depend on the nature of the importation. Specific details to be supplied on inquiry. Legislation will normally not allow for an extended licence and a new shipment requires in most cases a new licence. However, this is not applicable for feed, seed, fertilizer and soil improvers where only a registration is required and after which import of the registered goods are permitted.
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
Registration and /or licences are not transferable and are usually valid for one shipment only, except for feed, seed, fertilizer and soil improvers.
Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?
Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?
Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?
What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?