New VAT rules for export to Norway (VOEC)

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Tea Krestine Johansen
by Tea Krestine Johansen 19/03/2020

New VAT rules are being applied on cross-border sales of low value goods (B2C) in Norway from 1 April 2020. Get an overview of the rules and VOEC scheme.

New VAT rules for export to Norway (VOEC)

The Norwegian Parliament, Stortinget, has passed a new law regarding VAT rules for import of low value goods to consumers in Norway. These will apply from 1 April 2020, with an exception of some special types of goods, where these new rules already have been applied from 1 April 2020.

The Norwegian Tax Administration justifies these changes by describing them as an attempt to create fair terms of trade and competition for the foreign and domestic e-commerce companies in Norway.

Read about what this will mean for you in the article below.

Note: If you own a business with activities in Norway and your VAT liable turnover exceeds NOK 50.000 during a 12-month period, then you’re required to register with the Norwegian VAT authorities. This requirement remains unchanged after 1 April 2020.

VAT import threshold down to NOK 0

Under the current rules in Norway, Danish exporters can send goods to their Norwegian customers duty and tax-free as long as the total value of the shipment is below NOK 350 (incl. freight and insurance).

Handling of VAT on sales of goods and services is following the destination principle today, which means that VAT has to be paid where the goods are consumed. In practice, import to Norway is VAT liable and it is the buyer who is subject to paying the VAT to the tax office.

The above threshold for VAT on imported goods will be reduced to NOK 0, and a new mechanism for VAT handling for foreign businesses will be made available from 1 April 2020.

Follow the link here to read more about the transition period.

VAT on E-Commerce (VOEC) scheme

Norway has already implemented the VOES scheme, standing for VAT on E-Commerce, that is officially being introduced from 1 april 2020. This is a simplified registration and reporting system where the seller calculates and charges Norwegian VAT at the point of sale and then reports and settles quarterly with the Norwegian tax authorities.

This applies to small consignments with a value of less than NOK 3000 per. item (excl. freight and insurance), sold to private individuals in Norway. Please note that this threshold applies per item and not per invoice/shipment.

Goods with a value over NOK 3000 will still be subject to border collection of VAT and customs duties upon arrival in Norway. In this case, the carrier is likely to charge a customs handling fee in addition to the VAT and customs itself.

Sales of foodstuffs, alcohol and tobacco cannot be reported through VOEC. These goods will be subject to border collection of VAT, excise duties and customs duties.

VOEC scheme does not apply for suppliers with a registered business address or residence in Norway or if sales take place through an intermediary. If you have a company with both B2B and B2C sales, the VOEC scheme will only apply for the B2C sales.

Even if you are selling to Norway once in a while, it might still be a good idea to register under the VOEC scheme and benefit from the simplified customs handling of the flow of goods. Otherwise the sum of VAT, customs and carriers’ customs fees might turn out to be quite expensive for your customers.

See the guide on how to register in the VOEC scheme.

It is every particular carrier’s responsibility that VAT and duty on imported goods are reported properly to the Norwegian authorities. If you have any questions about the new rules or need more information, please contact the specific carrier.

Read more about the changes on the Norwegian Customs’ website.

Visit the Norwegian Tax Agency’s website to find information on how to prepare for the new regulations.

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