Purchases from abroad
Usually, you must pay taxes when you import goods. For some goods, you also pay customs duties.
If you're a private individual, or if your enterprise is not registered in the VAT register, you pay customs duties, excise duties and VAT upon import.
- If you shop online, you often pay to the shipping agent.
- If you bring the goods to Norway yourself, you pay to the Norwegian Customs by going through the red zone when crossing the border. Read more about the red zone (channel) at toll.no.
The NOK 350-limit will be abolished
Previously you did not have to pay any duties if the shipment from abroad had a value of less than NOK 350. This tax exemption is abolished in 2020. This means that you have to pay VAT and any other duties from the first krone.
In two steps:
- As of 1 January 2020, the tax exemption for goods defined as foodstuffs and goods that are subject to excise duty is abolished.
- As of 1 April 2020, the tax exemption for other goods is abolished.
A transitional arrangement has been established stipulating that, in the transitional period, VAT or customs clearance fees will not be imposed on goods that are purchased under the rules of the NOK 350-limit, but which reach Norway after the VAT exemption has been removed.
When you buy:
Examples of foodstuffs are food, candy, soft drinks, health foods or other food supplements, protein powder, spices or tea.
From 1 January 2020, you must pay VAT and any excise or customs duties from the first krone if you buy such goods online. The duties will be imposed when the goods arrive at the Norwegian border. This means that goods ordered before 1 January 2020 also may be taxed.
In practice, the courier may calculate and pay the duties on your behalf. They'll do this based on information regarding the package and the content with which the sender is obliged to mark the shipment. It will probably incur a fee from the courier. It varies when the couriers claim their fees and duties.
Examples of goods that are subject to excise duties are chocolates and sweets, tobacco goods, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, diet soda, lemonade, etc.
From 1 January 2020, you must pay VAT as well as any excise or customs duties from the first krone if you buy these goods online. Find out more about foodstuffs above and which other goods this applies to.
As of 1 April 2020, you must pay VAT from the first krone on goods you buy online from foreign websites. The online shop is responsible for charging VAT when you pay. In other words, it will be the same as purchasing goods in Norwegian shops.
This does not apply to foodstuffs or goods subject to excise duties that are described above.
From 2020, international online shops will be obliged to register so that they can charge VAT and ship goods to Norway. Consignments that are marked in a way that states that VAT has been paid will not be subject to customs clearance fees at the border, making it cheaper to import the goods to Norway.
It’s not illegal for Norwegian consumers to shop in online shops that are not registered. In such cases, VAT and any customs duties will be calculated and imposed when the goods cross the Norwegian border. In practice, the shipping company will have the ability to calculate and pay the duties on your behalf. They'll do this based on information about the package and its contentwhich the sender is obliged to state on the shipment. Consumerswill probably incur a fee from the shipping company for this. The time at which shipping companies claim their fees and duties varies.
Some goods are illegal to import, or are subject to restrictions. Find out more about which goods this applies to at the Norwegian Customs.
For goods with a value over NOK 3,000, VAT and any excise and customs duties will be calculated and added when the goods cross the Norwegian border. In practice, the courier may calculate and pay the duties on your behalf. They'll do this based on information regarding the package and the content with which the sender is obliged to mark the shipment. It will probably incur a fee from the courier. It varies when the couriers claim their fees and duties.
At the Norwegian customs website you can read more about customs regulations.
If you think a clearance error has caused errors in the customs declaration, please contact Norwegian Customs or the forwarding agent (who transports the goods on your behalf).
Some examples of errors: incorrect value for the goods, incorrect recipient information, or incorrect VAT rate.
If you have a business that is registered in the VAT register, you must pay VAT to the Norwegian Tax Administration. Any excise duties you are registered for must also be paid to the Tax Administration.