From January 1st. 2020 it is no longer possible to send VAT and duty-free low-value orders to Norwegian consumers.

The import threshold of NOK 350 for VAT & duty-free deliveries to Norway will abolished.

With the current threshold exporting companies can send goods to their Norwegian customers VAT and duty-free, as long as the total order value is below NOK 350 (the value of the goods + shipping and insurance).

This means that the Norwegian customer does not have to pay VAT, duty or custom clearance fee in relation to an international purchase. This makes it easy and very inexpensive for Norwegian consumers to shop on foreign websites and it is equally easy and inexpensive for exporting companies to sell goods with a value below NOK 350 to Norwegian consumers.

BUT, from January 1st. 2020, the minimum threshold of NOK 350 will be abolished.

The Norwegian government wants to ensure a fair and equal competition in Norway, where they have seen an increased competition from international E-com businesses who benefit from the threshold to sell goods without VAT, duty and custom clearance fees.

It will be of great importance to the E-com businesses with order values below NOK 350 to Norway and who have become accustomed to this advantageous competitive position to take action now. From January 1st. 2020 the alternative to the existing doorstep delivery is for the Norwegian customer to pick up the purchased goods at the post office, where the customer must settle Norwegian VAT, duties and custom clearance fees in order to retrieve the purchased goods.

Twice as expensive

Doing the math of the 2020 scenario will make it very clear what awaits the international E-com businesses and their Norwegian customers. The consequences will most certainly be Norwegian customers looking for competitive alternatives in terms of price, delivery terms and customer service.

Here are two examples from

  1. Today, the customer pays a total of NOK 299 for a pair of pants (NOK 250) and shipping (NOK 49).
    Without the 350-kroner threshold the customer must also pay VAT NOK 62.50 (25%), duty NOK 26.75 (10.7%) and the custom clearance fee NOK 158.
    The purchased pants with a total price of NOK 299 (incl. shipping) will costs NOK 497 in 2020.
  2. Today, the customer purchases a Christmas decoration (NOK 160) and shipping (NOK 140), total purchase price is NOK 300.
    Without the 350-kroner threshold the final price alters with VAT NOK 40 and custom clearance fee NOK 158.
    There is no duty on Christmas decoration, so the decoration is purchased at a final price of NOK 498 in 2020.

The Norwegian Customs (TOLL) has made it easy for Norwegian consumers to calculate how much they have to pay in duties, VAT and custom clearance with their import calculator.

If you would like to do a similar calculation of the economic effect on your export sales to Norway with the abolishment of the threshold, then please contact TIMEVAT.