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Iceland - Selling and buying

Contents extracted from the comprehensive atlas of international trade by Export Entreprises

Reaching the consumers

Marketing opportunities

Consumer behavior: Icelanders have a high purchasing power. But, because of the financial crisis, Icelanders' behavior might change a lot in the next year. We already see some changes in Icelanders behavior: they started buying less. But, usually, Icelanders shop in supermarkets.
Consumer profile: Icelanders are generally well educated, with sophisticated tastes and a liking for American consumer goods. The Icelandic lifestyle is similar in many ways to that in the U.S.
Main advertising agencies:

Distribution network

Evolution of the sector: Very large shops are common in Iceland. Hypermarkets have gained increasing prominence over the last 20 years in Europe, and in Iceland, one company,Hagar, has a 46% market share in the food retail trade with three different types of stores catering to different consumer needs. One peculiarity which is worth noting as well is that in the retail market in Iceland 70% of the volume of all merchandise is imported.
Types of outlet: Hagar, the biggest retailer is an Icelandic corporation of Baugur Group. Hagar also owns retailer and wholesale companies in Iceland, Sweden and Denmark.
Organizations in the sectors:

Market access procedures

Economic Cooperation: Iceland is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) Agreement.

The country has signed a large number of multilateral and bilateral agreements.

Non tariff barriers: Iceland enjoys some of the strongest economic freedoms among all countries. Nevertheless, Iceland is very protectionist as regards to the import of farm products and licenses as well as state monopolies of imports (undergoing a dismantling). Some plant products such as potatoes and flowers are subject to seasonal limitations.
Average Customs Duty (excluding agricultural products): Iceland implements high tariffs on agricultural products in order to protect the domestic agricultural sector. Tariffs on certain varieties of vegetables, e.g. tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers are significantly higher during the growing season to protect domestic greenhouse producers. Meat and dairy products, and potatoes are also protected by substantial duties. Animal feed can carry tariffs up to 55%.
Visit the Directorate of Customs website.
Customs classification: Iceland applies the Harmonized Customs System of codification and description of the goods. Customs duties are calculated ad valorem (and apply only to farm products of EU member countries). There is no exchange control on the settlement of imported goods. The customs policy is enforced by the Directorate of Customs.
Import procedures: Required documents are listed below:

- Bill of lading

- Certificate of origin

- Cargo release order

- Commercial invoice

- Customs import declaration

- Packing list

Organizing goods transport

Organizing goods transport to and from: Coastal sea travel is reserved only for transportation of goods and even so, it is giving way to transportation by trucks. Transportation of goods got almost completely off the sea and on the roads when Iceland's shipping companies quit their scheduled cargo-ship transportation around Iceland from Reykjavik and emphasized on truck transportation of goods.
Sea transport organizations:
Air transport organizations:

Domestic business directories

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