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WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

Everything that changes in Norway in April 2022

New travel routes, tax deadlines, rising building material costs, more expensive mortgage repayments and the Easter holidays are among the things happening in Norway this April that you need to know about.

Pictured is a woman on a ferry.
There are a number of key changes you need to know about in Norway, such as more expensive repayments, new travel routes and more. Pictured is a woman on a ferry. Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Tax time! 

Not many peoples’ favourite time of the year, but you’ll still need to know about a few key dates in April. April 4th will see the final tax returns for the year sent out. The end of the month will see the deadline for submitting your tax return or applying for an extended deadline to file your tax info. 

READ MORE: Five things you need to know about tax returns in Norway

Ski seasons ends in most places 

From Easter onwards, ski resorts up and down the country will begin closing their lifts for the season. Some in northern Norway may stay open further into May, but most resorts will begin closing towards the end of April. 

If you haven’t already, it may be worth dusting off your ski boots sooner rather than later if you fancy skiing in the spring sun. 

Public holidays galore

Public holidays can be feast or famine in Norway, with it feeling like there can be a public holiday draught between Christmas and Spring and then from the Spring to the festive season. 

Luckily, we are entering the ‘feast’ stage of public holidays, meaning you should begin making plans for what you will be doing with all your extra free time. 

READ MORE: Norwegian public holidays: How to maximise your annual leave in 2022

There are four public holidays, although one is a Sunday, in April. These are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. The dates for said holidays are the 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th. 

Mortgages become more expensive

Loans and mortgages repayments will become more expensive for those who aren’t on fixed-rate deals. 

This is because Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, raised the key interest rate in March. 

Since then, several banks have followed suit and hiked their rates. 

Påskeferie 

Norway’s Easter holidays will run between April 11th and April 18th. Unlike other vacations, such as the winter holidays, all of the kids will be off at the same time. 

Many in Norway pack up their cars and head to the mountains during the Easter holidays; if you’re new to Norway or haven’t had the opportunity to spend Easter here before, there are a lot of traditions to get into, whether its “easter crime” or stocking up on oranges and Kvikk Lunsj. 

Flyr’s Oslo Edinburgh route to take off

An Oslo to Edinburgh flight is among five new routes that Norwegian budget airline Flyr will launch in April. The other new destinations the airline is adding are Billund, Pisa, Prague and Stockholm.

READ MORE: Budget airline Flyr to launch Olso to Edinburgh route

The new route will make Edinburgh the airline’s first UK destination to which the airline will offer flights.

Time to take off the winter tyres 

On the 25th, the winter tyre season will officially end unless there’s a cold snap or snowstorm between now and then. 

This means you’ll need to switch to the summer set if you are using studded tyres. If you are caught driving studded tyres past this point, you’ll be fined 750 kroner per tyre.

If you are using regular winter tyres rather than studded ones, you won’t be required to change them, but you should probably should so that you don’t wear down the tread so that they no longer meet winter requirements. 

New ferry route between Norway and the Netherlands opens

From April 8th Holland Norway Lines will run a new route between Kristiansand, southern Norway, and Eemshaven, Groningen, the Netherlands, three days a week. 

READ MORE: New ferry route to connect Norway and Netherlands from 2022

The ferry will take 18 hours, departing from Kristiansand at 3pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. For trips into Norway, services leave the Netherlands at 3pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. 

Building materials shoot up 

From April 1st, some building firms will be putting up the prices of their materials by as much as 20 percent due to the war in Ukraine. 

Optimera, Norway’s largest DIY materials player, which has around 140 Montér stores in Norway, has already announced that it will be raising prices. 

Altibox customers will lose access to TV2 

Altibox customers will likely lose access to TV2 after the two parties failed to agree to extend a deal that expires on March 31st. 

There are around 530,000 Altibox customers, and one million viewers could lose access to TV2 as a result. 

Norway’s domestic football league kicks off

Norway’s Eliteserien will kick off during the first weekend of April for sports lovers. The season will run until the end of November. 

Going to games is one of the few things that is cheaper in Norway than in other countries, particularly the UK. All eyes will be on whether Bodø/Glimt will be able to clinch a 3rd successive title come November. 

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN NORWAY

Everything that changes about life in Norway in July 2022

Free ferries, a potential pilot strike, more expensive food and a change in the voting rules are among the biggest changes happening in Norway during July.

Everything that changes about life in Norway in July 2022

Potential pilot strike

This one isn’t fully set in stone but could spell travel chaos if it goes ahead. Up to 900 pilots from SAS could be taken out on strike from July 2nd if an agreement isn’t reached between the airline and pilots’ representatives. 

After weeks of intensive negotiations over a new agreement between SAS leadership and 1,000 of the airline’s pilots, both sides were willing to continue discussions, pushing back the original deadline. 

Pilots are unhappy that SAS is hiring new pilots on cheaper contracts in their two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect. If the two parties cannot agree, up to 30,000 SAS passengers could be affected per day, the airline said on June 27th.

You can check the likelihood of your flight being affected here

Food prices are likely to go up

July will also see the cost of grocery shopping in Norway go up significantly. This is because the price farmers will be able to charge for milk, grain, potatoes, vegetables and fruit in Norway will rise. 

Food prices in Norway are adjusted twice a year by supermarkets. The next change is set to happen in July, with prices expected to go up due to increasing costs from suppliers and producers. 

Ferries to become free

Ferry connections with less than 100,000 annual passengers will be completely free from the beginning of July. 

The government pledged to make all ferry connections with less than 100,000 passengers free of charge when it was formed last October to try and make transport easier for rural and coastal communities and boost tourism. 

Free tickets will apply to both residents, tourists and commercial passengers. 

READ MORE: Norwegian islands lose quarter of voters as foreigners frozen out of local elections

Fellesferie begins

Fellesferie is the collective leave period or general staff holiday period that many Norwegian companies have adopted, which takes place during July. 

The origins of fellesferie date back to the interwar years, when employers and employees in the Norwegian metal smelting industry agreed on a collective holiday period of three weeks. 

If you’ve not experienced the holiday period in Norway yet, it’ll feel like everything is coming to a grinding halt.

Many companies will shut down entirely or operate vastly reduced opening hours. As a result, big cities such as Oslo can feel practically deserted as everyone flocks to the beaches, fjords and mountains – often staying in their country retreats or hyttes If they aren’t travelling abroad.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about Norway’s collective holiday period

Air passenger tax returns

Air travel will become slightly more expensive at the beginning of July as the passenger tax for travellers will be reintroduced. 

The low rate of 80 kroner per passenger will be applied to journeys where the final destination is within Europe. 

Those travelling outside of Europe will have to pay a tax of 214 kroner. 

Rates apply to Europe as a whole, rather than the EU, so passengers heading to the UK will pay the lower rate. 

A new grid rent model implemented 

The beginning of July also sees a new grid rent system introduced. 

Grid rent is the charge consumers pay for receiving electricity into their homes. Under the current model, grid rent is typically anywhere between 20 to 50 øre per kilowatt-hour. Those in rural areas usually pay more, while those in cities pay less.

The new model will have a lower fixed proportion of the fee with a higher part of the charge linked to total consumption, meaning homes that use more power will pay higher grid rent, while those that consume less will have lower bills. 

READ MORE: What Norway’s new grid rent model means for you

A transition period of two years will be introduced, and the new consumption charge will only be allowed to account for 50 percent of grid companies’ revenues. The energy ministry will then assess the new model at the end of the transition period. 

Svalbard residents lose their voting rights

The Arctic archipelago of Svalbard is to lose over a quarter of its voting base for local elections under new rules preventing foreign nationals from participating.

Under new rules, non-Norwegian citizens will be required to have lived in a Norwegian municipality for three years in order to be eligible to vote in local elections and run for office on the remote Arctic archipelago.

Over 700 of the 2,500 people who live on Svalbard could be affected by the decision, broadcaster NRK reports.

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