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What are the rules for posting and receiving items in Norway

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
What are the rules for posting and receiving items in Norway
By familiarising yourself with the rules for sending and receiving goods in Norway, you will reduce the chance of unpleasant surprises (in terms of additional fees or delays) to a minimum. Photo by Claudio Schwarz on Unsplash

When ordering items from overseas or bringing goods into Norway, it's essential to understand the rules, taxes, and procedures involved so you don't end up with a nasty shock or unexpected bill.


Whether you're looking to buy something for the holiday gift-giving season, thinking of treating yourself by making a purchase from a, online store abroad, or travelling back to Norway after a shopping spree in a foreign country, having a good overview of your responsibilities is essential.

READ MORE: When is the deadline for sending Christmas gifts from Norway to other countries?

In fact, understanding the rules and procedures for sending and receiving goods in Norway, including taxes, tolls, and shipping, is the only way to avoid hassle and complications in the process.

By doing your homework and familiarising yourself with the rules, you will reduce the chance of unpleasant surprises (in terms of additional fees or delays) to a minimum.

Shopping from online stores located abroad

When you shop from foreign online stores, you may encounter import duties – fees you must pay.

The amount and payment process depend on whether the online store is registered in the VOEC scheme (referring to value-added tax on e-commerce), as well as the type and value of the item you're buying.

You can find more details about VOEC-registered stores on the Norwegian Customs website.

If the online store isn't VOEC-registered or you're buying from a private person abroad, you can use the customs import calculator to find the information you need for customs clearance.


Shopping abroad and travelling back to Norway

When you travel to Norway, you can bring goods up to a specific value limit without paying duty or VAT.

You can find more information about the value limit for items bought abroad - set at 6,000 kroner at the time of writing, or 3,000 kroner if you have been outside of Norway for less than 24 hours - in this guide by Norwegian Customs.

Separate quotas exist for alcohol, tobacco, meat, and cheese. So, if you've been abroad and are returning to Norway or visiting as a tourist, you should make sure to check these limits.

Limitations are also in place for carrying animals, medicines, currency, and more.


Customs clearance for shipments from abroad 101

For most international shipments (such as electronics or clothing), you'll be required to pay VAT and any other applicable taxes (customs and special taxes) when you make a purchase.

If these duties aren't paid in advance through the online shop, the postal service will usually collect customs duties on goods exceeding 350 kroner.

Importantly, customs duty applies from the first krone for specific items like foodstuffs, dietary supplements, and restricted goods.

Gifts sent to you can have a value of up to 1,000 kroner before you need to declare them. Remember, all purchases from abroad are subject to VAT, and some items like textiles, foodstuffs, and restricted goods may have additional costs like customs and special duties.


What about gifts?

Gifts valued at less than 1,000 kroner are exempt from import duties if they are sent from a private person abroad to someone in Norway.

However, if you order gifts from abroad and have them directly shipped to the recipient, they may be subject to import duties. In most cases, it's more cost-effective to order the items yourself and then send them as gifts.

READ MORE: How to send parcels to and from Norway this Christmas

If you're sending multiple gifts in a single package, like for various family members, you can avoid import duties and taxes as long as the value of each gift remains under 1,000 kroner.

For instance, if your family comprises four members, the total value of the gift shipment can reach up to 4,000 kroner. To qualify for this exemption, each gift should be clearly labelled for different family members, with each gift's value not exceeding 1,000 kroner.

Ensure this information is visible on the outside of the shipment and in the transport documents.


Specific rules govern what can and cannot be sent as gifts. Some items, such as alcohol, are subject to taxes regardless of whether they are intended as gifts. Additionally, tobacco products cannot be sent as gifts.

If you plan to send food products like cakes, cookies, biscuits, or chocolates, you should also remember that meat or dairy products from outside the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA), including the UK, cannot be sent to Norway.

If you have any questions or concerns in relation to regulations for specific food items, make sure to check the Norwegian Food Safety Authority's website.

What happens if your shipment is missing customs-related information?

Clearing customs can sometimes require detailed information about the goods and the recipient. If the information provided with the shipment is insufficient, the postal service will usually contact you.

They'll inform you about what's missing and what you should do to enable the customs declaration. It's crucial to promptly provide the necessary details to avoid further delays.

If you fail to respond within 14 days, your package may be stored at the post service's customs warehouse, and there's even a risk it might be returned.

There is also age verification in place for certain items, such as tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, for which the postal service will verify your age upon delivery – and charge a fee of 49 kroner.


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