Outline of the system
Import of explosive substances, including pyrotechnical articles, requires an import license. The products are mainly listed in Norwegian customs tariff, Chapter 36 (HS 36.01-36.04) but not restricted to.
Explosives produced in conformity with international agreements are only subject to transfer approval.
Both import license and transfer approval are regulated by Act No. 20 on the Prevention of Fire, Explosion and Accidents involving Hazardous Substances of 14 June 2002 and the Fire Services' duties in Rescue Operations. In detail, pyrotechnical articles are regulated by the Regulation No. 922 on handling Explosive Substances of 26 June 2002 and Regulation No. 1199 on Pyrotechnical Articles of 3 October 2013.
Explosives substances are regulated in the Regulation No. 844 on Civil Handling of Explosives Substances of 15 June 2017.
Explosives covered by Directive 2014/28/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market and supervision of explosives for civil uses of 26 February 2014, Explosives for civil uses | Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (europa.eu) transferred from a country within the EEA is regulated by the Regulation on Civil handling Explosive Substances Chapter 4, and according to Article 29 requires a transfer approval.
Imports of explosives, ammunition for technical use from a country outside of the EEA is subject to import authorization, cf. Regulation on Civil handling Explosive Substances Article 31.
Explosives covered by the Regulation on Civil handling Explosive Substances are the materials and articles considered to be explosives in the United Nations recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods and falling within Class 1 of those recommendations.
Pyrotechnical articles covered by Directive 2007/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the placing on the market of pyrotechnic articles of 23 May 2007, Pyrotechnic articles | Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (europa.eu) transferred from a country within the EEA is regulated by the Regulation No. 922 on handling Explosive Substances of 26 June 2002, Chapter 5, and according to Article 5-1 requires a transfer approval.
Import of pyrotechnical articles from a country outside of the EEA is subject to import authorization; cf. Regulation on handling Explosive Substances, Chapter 5, Article 5-1.
Pyrotechnic articles are categorised as follows:
Category 1: fireworks which present a very low hazard and negligible noise level, and which are intended for use in confined areas, including fireworks which are intended for use inside domestic buildings;
Category 2: fireworks which present a low hazard and low noise level, and which are intended for outdoor use in confined areas;
Category 3: fireworks which present a medium hazard, which are intended for outdoor use in large open areas and whose noise level is not harmful to human health;
Category 4: fireworks which present a high hazard which are intended for use only by persons with specialist knowledge (commonly known as fireworks for professional use) and whose noise level is not harmful to human health.
Theatrical pyrotechnic articles:
Category T1: pyrotechnic articles for stage use which present a low hazard;
Category T2: pyrotechnic articles for stage use which are intended for use only by persons with specialist knowledge.
Other pyrotechnic articles:
Category P1: pyrotechnic articles other than fireworks and theatrical pyrotechnic articles, which present a low hazard;
Category P2: pyrotechnic articles other than fireworks and theatrical pyrotechnic articles which are intended for handling or use only by persons with specialist knowledge.
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 of the import licensing procedure is to ensure public safety and security, and not to restrict the quantity or value of imports.
Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports
Not applicable (No quantity or value restrictions).
The system applies to products originating from which country?
The import licensing system applies to explosives coming from countries outside the EEA, and pyrotechnic articles from all countries. The system with transfer approval applies to explosives, but not to pyrotechnical articles, coming from countries within the EEA.
Expected duration of licensing procedure
Is the licensing statutorily required?
See point no. 1 on under which law and regulation the licensing is maintained.
The licensing is statutorily required.
Does the legislation leave designation of products to be subject to licensing to administrative discretion?
Designation of products to be subject to licensing is not left to administrative discretion, but follows directly from the law. For certain reasons, exemption may be given for provisions in the Regulation on handling Explosive Substances, provided there is no conflict with international agreements entered into by Norway, cf. Article 17-3.
Is it possible for the government to abolish the system without legislative approval?
It is not 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?
Only firms registered as an Explosives company may be granted an import license. Companies are registered in the National register of business enterprises; "Brønnøysund registeret".
Is there a registration fee?
There is a registration fee.
Is there a published list of authorized importers?
There is not a published list of authorized importers. The Regulation on handling Explosive Substances Article 5-3 requires importer course for companies that import fireworks in class II, III, and IV, and theatrical pyrotechnics.
Contact point for information on eligibility
Submission of an application
Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application
What information is required in applications?
Sample form was made available, as part of Norway's 2008 notification. The importer is also required to attach to the application the following information:
- Documentation on storage;
- Documentation on area for destruction;
- Documentation test area for initial inspection (applies only to pyrotechnical articles).
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?
Application for a license must be made in time for the license to be granted before actual importation. The treatment of applications for import licenses are normally done within one to two weeks.
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?
Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence
As an exception, a license may be obtained within a shorter frequency, provided that all the general conditions, i.e. documentation, are complied with, and the necessary administrative resources are available.
Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?
Applications for an import license are considered only by a single administrative organ, the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning. Appeals, on the other hand, are passed on to a higher administrative organ.
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?
Fees and other administrative charges
Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?
There is no licensing fee or administrative charge for imports, only value added tax.
What is the amount of the fee or charge?
Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?
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?
There are no circumstances for an application to be refused other than failure to meet the general provisions.
Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?
The reasons for a refusal are communicated to the applicant.
Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?
Applicants have a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a license.
If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?
Appeals are passed on to a higher administrative organ, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security. Appeals are sent to the first instance for a preliminary assessment, and are then passed on to the higher instance for final judgement.
Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?
What documents are required upon actual importation?
The import license/transfer approval.
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?
Import authorization is valid for maximum three years, but only until the granted amount of explosives actually is imported. The validity of a license is not extended.
Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?
Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?
Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?