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Norway

Outside the EU

Updated 10/2012

Legal requirements

In Norway, it is Norwegian Customs that collects duty, taxes and levies on imports and exports.

Export of goods

Export control means that some goods cannot be exported without an export licence. In Norway, there are restrictions, for example, on the export of live animals and animal feed, foodstuffs, medical products, etc.

There are also restrictions on the export of hazardous waste, household waste, mixed waste and unlisted waste for recycling in countries outside the OECD or the EU/EEA/EFTA.

Norwegian Customs checks that goods requiring a licence are not exported without a licence and that the goods match this licence.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for export control of strategic goods, i.e. military hardware and some civilian goods that are also of military importance.

Industrial property rights

The Norwegian Industrial Property Office can provide detailed information on how patents, designs and trade marks can be protected internationally.

Parallel imports

The resale of pirated goods may attract serious criminal sanctions in many countries. Once you have determined that the goods are not pirate products but originals, be aware of the consumption of trade mark rights.

Pirate copies

Under the Customs Act, Norwegian Customs is empowered to block suspected pirate copies, warn the rights holder of this and seize the goods.

Import of goods

When goods are imported into Norway, the importer is responsible for reporting this to Norwegian Customs. Import control means that certain goods cannot be imported without a permit or licence.

In general, the rules for imports from developing countries are the same as for imports from industrialised countries. However, you need to think about communication, delivery times, safety and quality. Norway has a Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) for the import of goods originating from developing countries.

The Product Liability Act states that an importer of goods from a third country (i.e. outside the EU/EEA) bears the financial liability for any damage resulting from the product being less safe than it should be. It is therefore important for the importer to check that the documentation is correct and that the identity of the producer is known.

Export and import of services

When a foreign service provider delivers a VAT-liable service in Norway, the provider has to be entered in the VAT Register in Norway. Depending on the type of service, the provider may also need to register with the Central Office for Foreign Tax Affairs.

Where a service is provided remotely, the recipient of the service has to calculate VAT on the sale on behalf of the seller.

Contracts awarded to foreign suppliers must be reported to the Central Office for Foreign Tax Affairs.

The duty to report a contract applies where the work is carried out on a building and construction site or in a location controlled by the customer.

On the continental shelf, all types of contract awarded to foreign suppliers have to be reported.

The trade in fish is regulated. The law empowers Seafood from Norway (EFF) to look after the approval of exporters, information to the industry and the marketing of Norwegian seafood in Norway and abroad.

State aid for exports

Eksportfinans offers government-backed loans for capital equipment, vessels and services, and competitive market rates for export credits.

Government-backed loans are provided in accordance with international regulations laid down by the OECD. In Norway, the scheme is handled by Eksportkreditt on behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

GIEK is the central State body for guarantees and credit insurance for export credits. Its main purpose is to promote Norwegian exports of goods and services and Norwegian investments abroad.

Statistics

The information required on the import and export declaration provides the basis for the statistics drawn up by Statistics Norway.

The statistics are intended to cover the industry's need for data to plan production, sales and marketing. They also provide a basis for forecasting and analysis carried out by organisations, public authorities and research institutions.

 

Administrative procedures

Export of goods

Nortrade - The Register of Exporters is the official business medium for Norwegian exporters on the Internet.

For exports under free trade agreements, either an invoice declaration or an EUR.1 certificate can be used. These proofs of origin can only be issued under certain conditions, which can be found in the free trade agreements.

The EUR.1 certificate is a form to be signed by the exporter and only becomes valid when it has been endorsed by the customs authority in the destination country. The exporter can issue an EUR.1 certificate regardless of the value of the shipment.

An invoice declaration is a statement with defined wording included in a commercial document, normally the invoice associated with the export.

The invoice declaration does not have to be endorsed by the customs authority in the destination country. The use of invoice declarations is restricted in that they can only be used where the value of the original products does not exceed NOK 50 000. If the exporter is an 'approved exporter', the invoice declaration can be used regardless of the value of the shipment.

For exports outside free trade areas, it may be appropriate to make use of other forms of proof of origin. Norway has adopted a unilateral system of preferences for goods from developing countries, the Norwegian GSP system. If an original product from a GSP country is imported into Norway under the GSP system, it may receive preferential customs treatment when it is exported to the EU or Switzerland, under certain conditions. The exporter must then issue an alternative Form A certificate for the export.

The certificate of origin does not provide for preferential customs treatment like the invoice declaration or the EUR.1 certificate. It provides proof that the goods have been produced in Norway. Many countries require this proof at the time of import.

Bond guarantees help exporters to provide bid bonds, advance payment bonds or performance bonds. The guarantees are normally issued by the exporter's bank in favour of the purchaser, and GIEK may underwrite up to 50 % of the bank's risk.

Anyone who exports goods from Norway must report this to Norwegian Customs. Where the goods require a licence, a valid licence issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must be presented. Norwegian Customs has to confirm that the goods being exported match the licence presented. Norwegian Customs performs physical inspections, often at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ATA Carnet is an international customs document which allows goods to be temporarily imported into a number of countries duty-free. The carnet replaces other export, import and transit documents. An ATA carnet is valid for a maximum of one year.

Norway is not a member of the EU VAT system. It is important to understand that this creates additional requirements and demands specific adjustments by Norwegian exporters, especially where:

  • the exporter undertakes to pay inward VAT in the EU Member State concerned
  • Norwegian exporters issue the invoices but the physical flow of goods passes directly between two EU Member States

Import of goods

All importers of foodstuffs must register with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, and almost all consignments for import must be reported in advance to the supervisory authority. Trade within the EU/EEA involving live animals and some animal products, and import of live animals, foodstuffs and other animal products from third countries (outside the EU/EEA area) is registered in a common EU database called TRACES.

Many goods are subject to specific import restrictions. For example, some kind of special approval may be required. It is forbidden to import some other goods, or they may require a special permit from the authorities. An exhaustive list of products that are not allowed to be imported without a special permit can be obtained from Norwegian Customs.

As a general rule, VAT is payable on all goods imported into Norway. The tax is charged at 25 % of the customs value of the goods (for foodstuffs, the rate is 14 %), plus any duty, transport tax and other levies collected by Norwegian Customs when the goods are imported. Exceptions to the liability for tax can be found in the Customs Act and associated regulations.

Export and import of services

Norway has tax agreements with a number of States, mainly to avoid double taxation and prevent tax evasion. Norway may have waived the right to tax businesses that come from countries with which it has entered into tax agreements.

If a VAT-liable service is provided in Norway, the enterprise that provides the service must register for VAT in Norway. For services provided remotely, the recipient has to report and pay VAT. Remote provision refers to the sale of services where the nature of the service means that performance or provision cannot easily be tied to a physical location, if at all.

Provision of statistics

The information required on the import and export declaration provides the basis for the statistics drawn up by Statistics Norway.

Resources

You can find further information on the following web sites:

Altinn/Start and run a business, www.altinn.no, tel. +47 800 33 840, is a toll-free national information service for people establishing and running a business. The aim of the service is to make it easier to launch and run businesses in Norway.

Help & advice

Help & advice

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