Norway’s new VAT rule and e-commerce

Noreway VAT ruling

Traditionally speaking, the habits of online consumers in France, Germany and the United Kingdom spring to mind when thinking of European e-commerce.

Recently however, online shopping has become increasingly popular across the continent.

This is evident when looking at the revenues generated by online retail in the Scandinavian countries – Norway, Sweden and Denmark. These countries consistently rank in the 10 biggest e-commerce markets in Europe.

Norway, a country of only 5.3 million people, is the only one of those three which isn't a member of the European Union (EU) and, therefore, has the krone (NOK) rather than the Euro as its national currency.

During the 2018-'19 financial year, online sales in Norway grew by just under eight per cent to €520 million (NOK 5.6 billion) - a sizeable proportion of which was accounted for by orders placed with international retailers, principally the UK, the US and China.

However, due to the decision of the Norwegian parliament, the Storting, to end the VAT exemption for imported consumer goods worth up to €33 or NOK 350, access to the market has become more complex.

Since April this year the obligatory Norwegian VAT of 25 per cent is applicable to all point of sale purchases costing up to €280 (NOK 3,000).

Additionally, all online retail platforms are required to levy this VAT percentage and pay it to the Norwegian tax authorities.

Online retailers doing business in Norway have to declare all shipped items and the due taxes through a new system called VAT On E-Commerce (VOEC).

Every online shipment has to meet certain requirements including the retailer's VOEC number and information on the contents. Failure to comply will result in VAT being demanded from the consumers on delivery and ultimately blocking the shipment at the border.

In the event of non-compliance there is an increased risk of delay at the border and even double-taxation if Norwegian customs agents suspect a parcel to be in breach of the requirements set by the VOEC scheme.

Customers using Spring's shipping platforms can rest assured that all systems are fully compliant with these new tax regulations and the appropriate information is provided to the Norwegian authorities to ensure that e-tailers can continue to provide an uninterrupted service to the country’s consumers.

Thinking of on boarding Spring for your shipments to Norway? We have the expertise knowledge and flexibility to make it easy for our customers to grow their business.

For more information on these new regulations and how Spring can help you, please contact your local Spring team.

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