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  July 10th, 2023 | Written by

A Comprehensive Guide for Successfully Entering the European Union Market with Frozen Fish

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Entering the European Union (EU) market with frozen fish products requires careful planning, market research, and understanding of the regulatory framework. This guide provides valuable information, official data sources, and assistance from authorities to help you develop a successful market entry strategy.

Understanding the European Union Market

The EU is one of the largest consumers of seafood products, including frozen fish. In 2022, several countries within the EU imported significant amounts of frozen fish. According to IndexBox market intelligence platform, the top five countries in terms of import value were Germany (USD 3.674 billion), Spain (USD 3.411 billion), France (USD 2.858 billion), Poland (USD 2.248 billion), and Italy (USD 2.147 billion).

Furthermore, the top five countries in terms of import prices for frozen fish were Luxembourg (USD 9.261 per kg), Austria (USD 7.584 per kg), Cyprus (USD 7.353 per kg), Finland (USD 6.654 per kg), and Belgium (USD 6.285 per kg).

Official Data Sources and Assistance

When entering the EU market, it is essential to have access to reliable data sources and seek assistance from relevant authorities. The following official data sources can provide valuable market insights:

  • Eurostat: Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union. It provides a wide range of data on various aspects, including international trade, market trends, and consumer behavior.
  • European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA): EUMOFA is a comprehensive online platform that provides market analysis, price trends, and trade statistics for fish and aquaculture products within the EU.
  • National Statistical Institutes: Each EU member state has its own national statistical institute, which offers country-specific trade data and market insights. These institutes can provide valuable information on consumer preferences, distribution channels, and market dynamics.

In addition to accessing official data sources, it is crucial to seek assistance from relevant authorities. They can provide guidance on regulatory requirements, labeling, and certification. The following authorities can help you navigate the EU market:

  • European Commission (EC): The EC is responsible for enforcing EU regulations and policies. It provides guidance on market access, labeling, and food safety standards.
  • European Food Safety Authority (EFSA): EFSA is an EU agency that assesses food and drink safety. They provide scientific advice on risk assessment, ensuring the safety of products entering the EU market.
  • Chambers of Commerce: Chambers of Commerce in various EU member states offer business support services, including market-entry assistance, networking opportunities, and guidance on legal and regulatory matters.

Market Research and Analysis

Before entering the EU market, conducting thorough market research and analysis is crucial. This will help you understand consumer preferences, market trends, competitive landscape, and distribution channels. It is essential to identify target segments and tailor your products accordingly.

Consider the following factors during your market research:

  • Consumer Preferences: Analyze consumer preferences for frozen fish products, including preferred species, packaging formats, sustainability considerations, and dietary trends.
  • Market Trends: Stay updated on market trends, such as the growing demand for organic or sustainably sourced fish products, convenience-oriented packaging, and the rise of e-commerce.
  • Competitive Landscape: Identify key competitors, their market share, pricing strategies, and unique selling points. Study their distribution networks and customer relationships.
  • Distribution Channels: Understand the distribution channels for frozen fish products, such as supermarkets, specialty stores, restaurants, and e-commerce platforms. Identify potential partners and evaluate their capabilities.

Regulatory Compliance

Complying with EU regulations is essential for market entry success. Ensure your frozen fish products meet the following regulatory requirements:

  • Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations: Implement a robust food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles.
  • EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP): Familiarize yourself with the CFP, which governs fishing and aquaculture activities within the EU. Adhere to sustainable fishing practices and ensure traceability of your products.
  • Labelling Requirements: Ensure accurate and compliant labeling, including product name, country of origin, allergen information, nutritional values, and storage instructions. Familiarize yourself with the specific labeling requirements of each EU member state.

Trade Shows and Exhibitions \

Participating in trade shows and exhibitions can provide valuable opportunities for networking, showcasing products, and conducting market research. Consider attending the following events related to frozen fish in the EU:

  • Seafood Expo Global: This event is one of the largest seafood trade shows, held annually in Brussels, Belgium. It attracts professionals from the industry worldwide and offers a platform for networking and business development.
  • International Seafood Show: The International Seafood Show takes place in Vigo, Spain, and showcases a wide range of seafood products, including frozen fish. It is an ideal event to connect with potential buyers and distributors.
  • European Seafood Exposition: Held in Brussels, the European Seafood Exposition focuses on seafood products from Europe and around the world. It serves as a meeting point for buyers, sellers, and industry professionals.

These trade shows and exhibitions provide a platform to connect with potential partners, discover market trends, and gain insights into customer preferences. They can play a significant role in your market entry strategy.


Entering the EU market with frozen fish requires careful planning, market research, and regulatory compliance. By utilizing official data sources, seeking assistance from relevant authorities, conducting thorough market research, and complying with regulatory requirements, you can develop a successful market entry strategy. Trade shows and exhibitions offer valuable opportunities for networking, brand promotion, and market research. With the right strategy and thorough preparation, you can tap into the vast potential of the European Union market for frozen fish.

Source: IndexBox Market Intelligence Platform