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Norway: Changes Affecting Low-value Goods Imported into the Country

The government of Norway recently announced changes to the assessment of Value Added Tax (VAT) and customs duties/taxes/fees on low value goods imported into the country effective in 2020. (Low value is defined as below 3000 Norwegian Kroner, which is approximately US$339.00). Under the new regulations, the exemption of VAT and customs duties/taxes/fees for low value goods sent from foreign sellers to consumers in Norway (de minimus threshold) is being eliminated in two stages, set for January 1 and April 1. The intent is to charge VAT on all goods, regardless of value, but to no longer charge customs duties/taxes/fees on low value items. Previously, goods from abroad were not assessed if valued at less than 350 Norwegian Kroner (approximately US$39.00) including postage/shipping costs and insurance.

The following is the implementation schedule:

  • January 1, 2020: The exemption on customs duties/taxes/fees for low value goods (goods with a value below 350 Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD $39.00) was eliminated for foodstuffs and dietary supplements. In addition, VAT was introduced on such goods. All charges on such goods imported through the international postal channel are paid by the addressee.

  • April 1, 2020: The exemption for all other goods valued below 350 Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD $39.00) will be eliminated. VAT will be introduced on such goods and paid by the sellers through a process similar to those recently established by Australia and New Zealand. However, customs duties/taxes/fees will no longer be charged on such goods when VAT is paid through the newly established VAT payment process. This process, called VOEC (VAT On E-Commerce), will be required for sellers and online marketplaces with annual sales of 50,000 Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD $5,600.00) to Norwegian consumers. Under VOEC, companies will register with the Norwegian Tax Administration and remit the collected VAT on a quarterly basis. The VOEC registration number will be required to be printed on postal customs forms/address labels.

The Norwegian Tax Administration is in the process of establishing the VOEC registration system, which is expected to be operational by February 1. Companies with annual sales of less than 50,000 Norwegian Kroner (approximately USD $5,600.00) to Norwegian consumers will not be required to register under the VOEC system but can do so on an optional basis.

Goods with a value above 3000 Norwegian Kroner (approximately US$339) are not eligible to be entered under the VOEC system. Such items will be subject to VAT in addition to customs duties/taxes/fees which will be paid by the addressee.

Further information can be found on the Norwegian Tax Administration website.

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