Global trade relations

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.

Trade relations

Free trade map

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.

Free Trade Agreements

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.

Ongoing Negotiations

FTA’s trade strategy has evolved progressively beyond the confines of the European continent. Since the late 1990s, the EFTA States have "gone global" with the objective of maintaining and strengthening their competitive position in the world. Through EFTA, the Member States have created one of the world's largest networks of preferential trade relations.

Joint Declaration on Cooperation

FTA’s trade strategy has evolved progressively beyond the confines of the European continent. Since the late 1990s, the EFTA States have "gone global" with the objective of maintaining and strengthening their competitive position in the world. Through EFTA, the Member States have created one of the world's largest networks of preferential trade relations.

Trade statistics

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.

Chronology of FTA processes

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.

About FTAs

Topics in FTAs

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.

FTAs and the WTO

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.

Customs and origin

This page contains information regarding customs and origin matters in the EFTA States

Technical assistance

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.

Deputy Secretary-General
Trade Relations Division

+41 223322 630

EEA Introductory Seminar

This introductory seminar is intended to provide professionals, both inside and outside the European Union, with a thorough understanding of the Agreement on the European Economic Area and how it integrates Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway into the EU’s Internal Market.