Outline of the system
Alcoholic beverages may only be imported by parties who hold an import licence, an extended retail licence or a serving licence extended to cover imports. Alcoholic beverages may also be imported by Vinmonopolet. Private persons may, for their personal use, import alcoholic beverages without a licence. This is regulated by Act No. 27 on the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages (Alcohol Act) of 2 June 1989.
When a private person imports alcoholic beverages the Directorate of Health and the Customs and Excise Authorities may require documentation that the alcoholic beverage is for personal use, if the quantity, or other circumstances, give reason to believe that it is not. If such documentation cannot be submitted, the goods cannot be imported without authorization or licence mentioned above. This is regulated by Regulation No. 538 on the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages (Alcohol Regulation) of 8 June 2005.
Alcoholic beverages covered by the import provisions in the Alcoholic Act are beverages containing more than 2.5% alcohol by volume. Alcoholic beverages containing more than 60% alcohol by volume can only be imported by undertakings holding an import licence in Norway (to be used in production).
The types of licensing systems that gives the right to import alcoholic beverages:
(a) Import licence in Norway.
(b) An extended retail licence in Norway.
(c) A serving licence extended to cover imports in Norway.
(d) Imports by Vinmonopolet.
Private imports for personal use require no licensing, but documentation that the alcoholic beverage is for personal use may be required.
Nature of licensing
If Automatic, administrative purpose
If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime
Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
The purpose is to curb the harm to the society and the individual that may result from the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
There are no restrictions regarding quantities or value of alcoholic beverages imported to Norway. However, authorization/licence to import is required if the alcoholic beverage is not for personal use, cf. answer to question 1.
The system applies to products originating from which country?
The systems apply to alcoholic beverages from all countries.
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
Trading activities under letters (a)–(e) in answer 2 are regulated by Act No. 27 on the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages (Alcohol Act) of 2 June 1989, Chapter 2. Authorization to engage in wholesaling is also regulated by Regulation No. 1451 of 11 December 2001 on special duties. Private imports for personal use are regulated by Regulation No. 538 of 8 June 2005 on the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages (Alcohol Regulation), Chapter 15, § 2-1, paragraph 3.
Does the legislation leave designation of products to be subject to licensing to administrative discretion?
Is it possible for the government to abolish the system without legislative approval?
Eligibility of applicants
Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?
What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?
ll persons over 18 years old (over 20 years old for alcoholic beverages containing more than 22% alcohol by volume) are eligible to import alcoholic beverages for personal use. To be authorized to engage in wholesaling you must be a registered firm (at your current Tax Assessment Office) of good repute in relation to several acts.
Is there a registration fee?
There is no registration fee.
Is there a published list of authorized importers?
Contact point for information on eligibility
Submission of an application
Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application
What information is required in applications?
To be authorized to engage in wholesaling you have to provide the information required by the Tax Authorities in the form used for registration, on basis of the Act on Tax Administration Section 8-15 (2) of 27 May 2016, including information about the stock, the warehouse, the account routines and turnovers.
What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?
Window of submission of an application
How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?
Applications for authorization to be engaged in wholesaling one month in advance.
Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain
Issuing the license
Can a licence be granted immediately on request?
Import licence is not required as long as the alcoholic beverage is for personal use.
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
To obtain an authorization to be engaged in wholesaling, approaches have to be made to the Tax Assessment Office.
Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?
Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?
There are no other conditions.
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
No administrative charges.
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
No deposit required, however Section 14-21 second paragraph of the Tax Payment Act provides that, at the time of registration or later, the Tax Assessment Office may require the undertaking to furnish security for excise duties that the entity becomes liable for in the future.
Amount or rate?
Is it refundable?
What is the period of retention?
What is the purpose of this requirement?
Refusal of an application
Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
The applicant may appeal.
If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?
The applicant may appeal in accordance with Act on Tax Administration of 27 May 2016.
Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?
What documents are required upon actual importation?
When wholesalers import the registration number must follow the imported goods.
Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?
Conditions of licensing
What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?
There is no validity period for the registration as liable for excise duties (wholesalers).
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
There is no penalty for non-utilization.
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
The licence is not transferable.
Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?