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Country Reports

Iceland Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Iceland is undergoing a protracted period of political instability. A series of scandals have prompted two snap elections in 12 months, with the latest inconclusive vote being held in October 2017. Coalition negotiations are currently under way, with the most likely scenario being a broad three-party coalition spanning the political spectrum. It is highly unlikely that such a government would last a whole four-year term. The last remaining controls on capital outflows, which had been in place since the 2008 banking crisis, were fully lifted by the outgoing government earlier in the year.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Operational Outlook

Iceland welcomes foreign investment, but with restrictions such as investment caps in some sectors. The country's abundance of geothermal energy provides unique attributes such as cheap energy prices. The workforce is flexible, skilled, productive, and heavily unionised, with collective wage agreements as the norm. Unions are non-political and decentralised, and tend to prioritise negotiations over strikes. Dissatisfaction is, however, growing due to rising wage inequality – particularly between elected officials and the rest of society. This is, in turn, increasing the risk of industrial action. Labour strike risks are particularly high in the mining and fishing industries.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Terrorism

Low

Terrorism risks are negligible. There are few high-profile targets aside from a NATO radar station, and no known non-state armed groups operate in the country. The most probable form of attacks would be a shooting attack by a lone radicalised jihadist actor against state or Jewish assets, or a similar attack against Muslim assets or individuals by far-right individuals. However, both scenarios are unlikely overall. From October 2015, Iceland is a signatory to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism protocol regarding foreign terrorist fighters.

Last update: March 27, 2018

War Risks

Low

War risks are negligible. Iceland, a NATO member, has no standing army, although it maintains a coast guard and air defences. Since the withdrawal of US Air Force fighter units from Keflavik Air Base in 2006, NATO countries have operated a periodic, rotating deployment of fighter aircraft to patrol Iceland's airspace. Iceland disputes the ownership of Rockall Island and the surrounding oil reserves with the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark. However, any disputes are likely to be resolved at the diplomatic level and extremely unlikely to lead to any military conflict.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Social Stability

Low

Political protests have become more regular in the aftermath of the protests that followed the country's financial and banking collapse in 2008–09. Perceived corrupt practices are also a probable trigger of protests. Both political and environmental protests are likely to be predominantly peaceful, aimed at raising awareness, and concentrated outside government offices in Reykjavík rather than intended to cause disruption or damage to business operations. Exceptions include protests against specific projects that are perceived as environmentally damaging. There is little patience among the public for perceived 'anti-social behaviour' - this limits the occurrence of disruptive activism.

Last update: March 27, 2018

Health Risk

Moderate

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: November 28, 2013

Natural Risks

High
Last update: February 13, 2018

Transportation

Low
Last update: February 13, 2018

Practical Information

Climate

Temperatures in the summer are mild and during this time (late may-mid-August), the sun sets very late in the day. At the end of June, the sun sets around midnight and rises at 3:00 am. The Aurora Borealis can be seen beginning in the end of August. In the winter, nights are very long and temperatures cool. November, December, and January are the darkest months of the year. Rain is common throughout the year and weather conditions can change several times within the same day.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +354
Police: 112
Fire Dept.: 112
Ambulance: 112

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: December 9, 2013