Customs and VAT?

Customs clearance of consignments from abroad

  • For most shipments from abroad, you pay VAT and any other taxes (customs and special taxes) when you buy goods in the online store.
  • If the fees are not paid in advance, through an online store, Posten will declare your goods.
  • Gifts can have a value of up to NOK 1000 before you have to declare.

When do I have to pay customs?

Initially, all purchases of goods abroad are subject to VAT, but only textiles, foodstuffs and restricted goods may have additional costs as customs and special duties.

Should you buy something from abroad and wonder how much you have to pay? Use Norwegian Customs' import calculator and read more about online shopping.

New customs rules from 2020

From 1st January 2020, new regulations came from the authorities for the purchase of food from abroad.

From 1.4.2020 there are new rules for buying goods from abroad which means that you have to pay taxes from the first krone. Read more about VOEC (VAT on E-commerce) and the new customs rules.

The main rule is that VAT must be paid in a foreign online store, just like when you shop in Norway. This scheme applies to all goods (which are not restricted) with value up to NOK 3000. Read more at

Our customs services

In cases where fees are not paid through the online store in advance, Posten offers the following customs services:

  • You will normally receive items with a value of up to NOK 350 in the mailbox

For the time being, Posten will not declare most low-value shipments (value up to NOK 350) until the new regulations are implemented. Once it is in place, there will be a solution for the payment of VAT, customs duties and customs clearance on before taking the goods in use.

  • Items with a value between NOK 350 and 3000 will be simplified customs declared *

Simplification means fewer requirements for detailed product descriptions, as well as Posten do not need your birth and social security number to declare. You can pick up the shipment at Posten. Then you pay the fees and Posten's customs clearance price.

Exceptions to simplified customs clearance are goods where the authorities require full customs clearance. Examples of this are art, antiques, as well as restricted goods such as alcohol, tobacco, medicines, supplements and all food and beverages.

  • Items with value over NOK 3,000 or items requiring full customs clearance **

Full customs clearance means that Posten calculate duties on goods from a detailed description of the goods and that we associate the recipient's birth and social security number for customs clearance. You can pick up the shipment at Posten. Then you pay the fees and Posten's customs clearance price.

Cost of customs clearance 

What is priced Pris
Simplified customs clearance.
Applies to items with a value from NOK 350–3000 *
Customs clearance per shipping with value over
NOK 3000 and for shipments with restricted goods **
Own clearance expedition and customs warehousing fee 149
Reimbursement of duty paid 599
Obtaining customs documentation 149
Customs clearance per shipment to Svalbard 299

Lack of information at customs

Customs clearance often requires detailed information on goods and the  receiver. It is possible that the information provided with the shipment is not sufficiently detailed. Then Posten will contact you. In the message you receive, we state what we are missing and what you need to do in order for Posten to declare the shipment for you. You can submit missing information here.

Pending response from you, the consignment is stored at Posten's customs warehouse. The response deadline is 14 days before we return the shipment.

Age control on some items

When purchasing tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, Posten will carry out an age check at delivery.

The recipient must pay the control fee of NOK 49 for this control.

Question & answers

  • From 1 January 2020, supplements and foods are restricted from the first krone. This means that Posten must declare and claim fees for this type of goods. Read more about restricted goods. Read more about restricted goods.

  • The basis of calculation is taken from the customs documentation the sender has attached to the consignment.

  • Posten uses the Norwegian Customs' exchange rate. This changes weekly and is based on the exchange rate from Norges Bank. Since Norges Bank adjusts the exchange rates more frequently than the Norwegian Customs administration, there will be deviations.

    Norwegian Customs exchange rate

  • Posten has sent you an SMS or notification that we have a shipment to you. The shipment is missing/or has incomplete customs documentation.
    It is important that you obtain the information/documentation what we have requested in the notification. When we receive information from you, we will process the shipment and forward it to you as soon as possible.

    Submit missing information from this page.

  • Posten has to cover the costs it has in connection with processing all parcels, including parcels to customers who wish to carry out customs clearance of their parcels themselves.

    The price we charge is the basic price required to cover our costs for carrying out statutory tasks such as: processing parcel arrivals, registration of parcels and mandatory customs warehousing accounting to the Norwegian Customs Service. These statutory tasks do not disappear if customers clear their parcels for customs themselves. Posten carries out a “simplified customs declaration” automatically, but in regard to standard customs declaration (value of goods over NOK 3,000), as a customer, you can carry out customs clearance yourself.

  • The pickup message shows which import fees have been calculated. To calculate taxes we use the goods and value statement accompanying the consignment. If you believe the calculation is incorrect, you must document the error. Please contact customer service before picking up your shipment.

    If the calculation of duty and charges in incorrect, but Posten cannot be held responsible for this, you must apply for a refund via Altinn. See the Norway Custom's website which provides good information and guidance when you want to apply for a refund of overpaid VAT and customs duties, and in cases where you require a refund of fees when returning goods.

  • The fee covers the costs associated with statutory tasks that Posten is obliged to carry out: processing parcel arrivals, classification and registration of the goods, calculation and collection of fees, settlement to the authorities, and storage pending payment from the recipient. Full customs clearance costs more than simplified customs clearance because the documentation requirements and the degree of detail in a full customs clearance is higher than for simplified customs clearance.

  • If you have not paid Norwegian VAT and other fees through purchases in the online store, you must pay fees when the goods arrive in Norway. This also applies to gifts with a value over NOK 1000. Read more at

  • We can do simplify customs clearance for goods to private individuals with a value of up to NOK 3000 (excluding transport and insurance) if the sender has not collected Norwegian fees in advance. The scheme does not include restricted goods such as food, alcohol and tobacco products.

    The simplification consists of smaller requirements for detailed description of goods and there is no need to identify recipients with birth and social security numbers.

  • The price for self-customs clearance and the price for simplified customs clearance are the same. This is because Posten's statutory duties are about as comprehensive in simplified interpretation as in the case of customs clearance.

  • Books are normally duty-free. If your parcel contains other items, they must be declared. You pay VAT and any other fees as well as the customs clearance price for these goods.
    The books will be excluded as long as they are specified on the sender's customs information.

  • No, you do not have to pay any duty and charges.

    The shipment will be returned after 2 weeks if you do not pick up the shipment.

  • Please contact customer service before you pick up the consignment, so that we can clarify what has happened. The reason is probably due to a lack of labeling of the consignment from abroad. If you have picked up the consignment and paid import duties to Posten, you must contact the online store to ask them for a refund. 

    If it turns out that the consignment is correctly labeled, we will apply to the authorities for a refund and refund you afterwards.

  • Value-added tax (VAT), customs and special duties. See the Norwegian Customs' summary of what you should be paid when shopping online.

  • Posten uses the Norwegian Customs' official exchange rates, which are updated weekly. If you have traded in a currency that is not listed by the customs service, Norges Bank's daily updated exchange rates are used. In very rare cases, there may be currencies that are not listed by Norges Bank. Posten will then contact you to obtain documentation of the actual amount paid before the shipment is cleared through customs.