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.
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.
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.
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.
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.