Regulations on customs and duty when buying online

Different product groups have different rules on customs. It is important to bear this in mind when buying from online stores abroad.

Regulations on customs and duty for different product groups when buying from online stores abroad:

Medications

The regulations for the purchase of medicines from abroad are very strict.
This means that there are very few or no medicines that you as a private person can import into Norway. If you receive a consignment containing illegal drugs, you will be notified that the content has been seized and will be destroyed or that the consignment will be returned.

Here are some reasons why medicines are not legal to import:

  • There is no Norwegian approval or packaging
  • The medication has been imported from a country outside the EEA
  • The medication requires a prescription in Norway
  • The volume imported is greater than the amount required for three months of normal use
  • The medication is for animals
  • The medication is not for personal medical use

Find out more about the new regulations on the private import of medications from the Norwegian Medicines Agency.

Dietary supplements and foodstuff

By dietary supplements, we mean items such as vitamin products, minerals, Omega 3 oils, slimming aids, protein drinks and powders, rehabilitation products and natural remedies.

There is a 15 per cent value added tax on food. In addition, there are duties and special taxes on some foods depending on the content and in which country it is produced.

Dietary supplements or foodstuff?

Although a product is not considered a drug in the country you are shopping from, the content may cause it to be classified as a drug in Norway. If the dietary supplement you purchased is classified as a drug, then the rules for importing drugs apply. Such products can therefore be seized and destroyed by The Norwegian Customs.

Find out more about dietary supplements from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

Note: The dietary supplement you import may potentially contain drugs or narcotics. You may be prosecuted if you import such products. Dietary supplements may contain prohibited products from endangered plant or animal species. The Norwegian Customs and Excise Service will seize any dietary supplement if this is discovered.

Alcohol

Private individuals are able to import beer, wine, spirits and other alcoholic drinks for private use without applying for a permit. You must be aged over 18 to import alcoholic drinks. You must be aged over 22 import spirits or other alcoholic drinks stronger than 22 per cent by volume.

When importing alcoholic beverages, you have to pay taxes (VAT, customs and special taxes) for the whole party. You must pay the fees even if the alcohol is received as a gift, inheritance or part of a moving location goods. In addition to state taxes, you must pay Posten for the customs clearance assignment.

When delivered, parcels will be compliant with Norwegian legislation; in other words, the age of the recipient will be checked. The recipient must not be visibly intoxicated and must be over 18 or 20 years of age. Delivery takes place according to the opening hours of the Vinmonopolet. The recipient will pay an inspection charge on delivery.

Tobacco products, including snus

Individuals "can" receive tobacco products (including snuff) from abroad, but in practice it is not possible for individuals to import tobacco products due to very strict import regulations from the Directorate of Health.

  • The product must be marked with a warning (Act relating to prevention of the harmful effects of tobacco, § 3)
  • Individuals must be at least 18 years old to be allowed to buy snus (Act relating to prevention of the harmful effects of tobacco, § 5)

For more information, see The Norwegian Customs' pages.

When importing tobacco products, you have to pay taxes (VAT, customs duties and special taxes). It also applies whether the tobacco item is sent as a gift, inheritance or moving goods. In addition to state taxes, you must pay Posten for the customs clearance assignment. When delivering tobacco products, age control will be carried out in accordance with Norwegian legislation. The recipient will pay an inspection charge on delivery.

Clothing and footwear

Clothing is one of the few product types that may be subject to customs tariffs. Customs tariffs differ depending on the type of garment in question. Footwear is duty-free.

Nevertheless, you have to pay 25 per cent VAT when buying clothing and footwear from abroad. Posten charges for customs clearance if Norwegian fees are not paid in the foreign online store.