Coronavirus - important information from the Tax Administration

Value Added Tax on low value imported goods

Foreign suppliers of low value goods must calculate and collect VAT on their B2C sales to Norway.

You will find information on how to register, report and pay VAT to the Norwegian tax authorities.

What to do to ensure that you're compliant by 1 April 2020

Businesses and marketplaces that sell low value goods – goods with value below NOK 3,000 – to consumers in Norway will have to:

You can register either in the Norwegian VAT Register, or through the simplified scheme for low value goods. The simplified scheme (VOEC) has fewer administrative burdens than the VAT Register does. 

Please note that for goods with value at or above NOK 3,000, foodstuffs, restricted goods, and goods subject to excise duties, the simplified scheme (VOEC) will not be available. These goods will be subject to border collection of VAT, excise duties and customs duties. Carriers might also charge the consumer an additional fee for calculating and paying the duties.

Please note that the NOK 3,000 threshold of the VOEC scheme applies per item – not per invoice or transaction. The value of the item at “point of sale” is decisive. Additional costs and fees – e.g. shipping and insurance costs – are excluded when determining if the sale is within the NOK 3,000 threshold (but to be included when calculating the VAT).

Mark the consignments to Norwegian consumers with a VOEC identification number and relevant information to ensure correct customs clearance.

Since VAT has already been charged on the goods, there will be no border collection of VAT for VOEC-goods.

However, if the parcel cannot be identified as within the VOEC-scheme, there are risks of delayed border crossing and double taxation. To secure swift border crossing and avoid the risk of double taxation, the suppliers of VOEC-goods must ensure that relevant information about the parcel and its contents is available to the transporter and/or shipping agent and the Norwegian Customs.

The relevant information consists of:

  1. The supplier’s registration number (VOEC-number), which the supplier will get upon registration in the VOEC scheme. This unique number must accompany the shipment as described below.
  2. The contents of the parcel, including value, description and quantity of goods.

Goods shipped by postal service:

  • Preferable:
    • Provide the seven digit VOEC-number via electronic advance data (M33/ITMATT) when you book the shipment from your local postal service.
    • Make sure this information is attached to a UPU standard S-10 barcode on the item; and
    • Use labels CN 22 / 23 and provide the seven digit VOEC-number in the sender's address field. The VOEC-number must be labelled as "Sender's customs reference no" or “VOEC no”. Ensure there is 2 mm clear space between the VOEC No and the line above.
  • If ITMATT is not possible:
    • Use labels CN 22 / 23 and provide the seven digit VOEC-number in the sender's address field. The VOEC-number must be labelled as "Sender's customs reference no" or “VOEC no”. Ensure there is 2 mm clear space between the VOEC No and the line above.

Goods shipped by other carriers (courier, express shipping carriers):

  • Provide the seven digit VOEC-number via EDI message or labelling as mandated by the shipping carrier.

The transporters must make sure that the VOEC-information is available to the Norwegian Customs, preferably in a prenotification in digital form, alternatively – at the latest – upon presentation of the goods at the border. Read more: Norwegian Customs.

Report and pay VAT quarterly to the Norwegian Tax Authorities.

VAT must be reported and paid quarterly. The VOEC reporting period covers a calendar quarter, commencing on 1 January, 1 April, 1 July and 1 October. The deadline for the submission of reports and payments is 20 days after the end of the quarter.

Currency conversion – determining whether VAT applies to a supply

To determine whether VAT applies to a supply, the value of the good shall be measured at the point of sale. If the good in question is listed in foreign currency, the supplier must convert the foreign currency amount to NOK at the point of sale. The supplier may use any of the following exchange rates:

The exchange rate to be used for conversion must have been published within 30 days of the conversion time (point of sale). If a rate other than the most recently published rate is used, the practice for sourcing the rate must be consistent.

Read more about VAT on low value imported goods - or download the comprehensive Guidelines for the VOEC scheme.

Transitional provisions

To ease the implementation of the new rules, Norway will introduce further simplifications for online stores and marketplaces in a transitional period. These transitional provisions will aid to gradually incorporate all online stores and marketplaces into the VOEC system.

Transitional provisions during the implementation period – limited liability

The temporary measure consists of two elements:

  • Online stores and marketplaces may, on request, be given time to make necessary technical system adjustments needed to calculate and collect Norwegian VAT on sales to Norwegian consumers, and mark consignments adequately.
  • Such online stores and marketplaces will have a limited liability for VAT in this transitional period: They will only be responsible for the VAT that can be calculated using the systems developed at any given time.
  • To be entitled to such a limited liability, online stores and marketplaces must take reasonable steps to comply with the VOEC scheme as quickly as possible.

  • To avoid the problem of accumulation of parcels on the border, goods with a value below NOK 350 will not be stopped and checked for fiscal purposes in this transitional period.
  • This exemption will not apply to foodstuffs, goods subject to excise duties and restricted goods.
  • The exemption means that the transporter will not charge the customer with declaration fees.

What you must do

Online stores and marketplaces may benefit from a temporary exemption from customs declaration, and limited liability for VAT, on goods sold to Norwegian consumers on the following conditions:

  • The online store or marketplace must register in the VOEC scheme.
    • Online stores and marketplaces do not need to be fully compliant by 1 April 2020 to register in the scheme; partial compliance is acceptable in a temporary period.
    • This means that online stores and marketplaces will only be held liable for the VAT that can be calculated and payed using the systems developed at any time.
  • The online store or marketplace must confirm an exemption is needed due to technical facilitation etc.,
    • Online stores and marketplaces must confirm, and on request, provide documentation that they have taken reasonable steps to comply with the VOEC scheme.
  • The online store or marketplace must provide an estimated date of final compliance.
    • Requests to benefit from these transitional provisions can be sent by either using the "Comments"-section in the registration form, or after registration by e-mail to [email protected] with reference to the VOEC identification number.
    • Further documentation may need to be provided on request.

Important note: Only consignments where the VOEC-registered online store or marketplace has collected the VAT shall be marked with VOEC number, in accordance with the Guidelines section 9 / the document "how to mark consignments to Norway" / the informational brochure.

More on regulation of the transitional provisions

The transitional provisions regarding the customs declaration is only applicable to goods valued below NOK 350 (the previous VAT threshold for low value goods).

To ensure that online stores and marketplaces register, regular random checks will be conducted, and packages from online stores and marketplaces that are not VOEC registered will be identified. These online stores and marketplaces may be subject to enforcement measures, such as tax assessment and supplementary taxation by the tax authorities.

The transitional provisions will be in force until further notice.

Sales that were made before 1 April 2020

The new VOEC scheme applies to goods purchased on or after 1 April 2020. It will not apply to sales made earlier (unless VAT applies under existing rules) even if the goods do not reach Norway until after 1 April 2020.

Questions? - Please contact us - we'll be happy to help you

For more information or any questions, please e-mail us at  [email protected], and we'll answer you as soon as possible.