Selling goods online to Norway – With or without VAT?
VAT on goods to Norway. What is the VAT if you ship goods to Norway? Are you going to invoice with Norwegian VAT if you sell things from your website based in the EU? Which VAT rate is applicable in Norway? How do you invoice to customers outside the EU? VAT on export to Norway? How high is the sales tax in Norway?
Norwegian VAT rates can be found further down in the article.
“If I open a company, in this case the Netherlands, and I want to sell my products online from a website. What happens when I invoice a customer in Norway?, Should I invoice with VAT or without VAT?”
Norway is not included in the EU = Export outside the EU.
If shipped from Netherlands-> Norway, it is without VAT. This applies to both private individuals and business customers.
Accounting export of goods to Norway:
|Goods to non-EU countries account and VAT code||XXXX||1000|
How do you invoice this?
The person who receives the merchandise is required to pay the (import) VAT. Since the product is not sent to a customer in the Netherlands, it is not traded in your country of origin but outside the EU (at the location of the customer). Which means you will not add any dutch VAT on the sale.
If the value of the product is less than 350 NOK (including shipping and insurance), the customer will not pay import-VAT or customs duties in Norway at all.
This rule will change 2020: 25% import VAT on all imports will be applied because domestic sellers suffered greatly compared to especially Swedish competitors. Swedish e-commerce suppliers could sell without VAT but Norwegian companies had to apply VAT to Norwegian customers.
Here you can calculate which VAT and customs duty to be paid for different goods when imported in Norway (paid by the Norwegian customer). It is usually 25% VAT but for food and non-alcoholic beverages, the import VAT will be 15%.
If you sell goods inside Norway for more than 50K NOK, you (the company) is required to register with the Norwegian Tax Agency. This is true if you have a COMPANY REGISTERED IN NORWAY. This limit does not apply to you who only have a business in the Netherlands and only exports to Norway. If the goods pass the border between your country and Norway, then the 50K rule does not apply. Or as the Norwegian Tax Authorities states:
“You refer to a registration limit similar to that in EU countries. In Norwegian VAT law, the rules are that if you have a taxable turnover that exceeds 50,000 NOK during a period of 12 months (not calendar year), then you need to register your business (Norwegian VAT law §2-1, first paragraph). If you do not have sales in Norway (export only), this registration requirement will not be triggered. ”
(this is a translation of a Norwegian text)
To justify why your invoice contains no VAT, write this on the invoice:
“Export of goods, article 146 Council Directive 2006/112 / EC”
You may also need to fill in the customs declarations that you attach to the package in a plastic pocket. Your national postal agency/freight forwarder can help you with these details. It is important that the price is shown directly on the package, enabling the Norwegian customs to easily calculate the import VAT for the recipient in Norway.
If you only export to Norway
There are a few different opinions and misleading information about what actually applies in this case. Some believe that you need a branch or other type of registration when selling goods to customers in Norway. This is not true.
In the case of EXPORTS ONLY (no real presence in Norway). In other words, you have no employees or people working for you on Norwegian soil. You do not have any activities on location in Norway. Or formulated differently:
Export of goods from a company in the Netherlands where the goods are shipped from the Netherlands to a Norwegian customer.
In this case, the rule is clear – you do not need to register for VAT in Norway (=No need for a Norwegian VAT number), you do not need to register a branch, you do not need to register your company in the Norwegian business directory (Brønnøysundregistrene),You do not need to register the company in the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities (Enhetsregistret) …and you do not need a Norwegian organization number. This applies both if you sell to Norwegian individuals or Norwegian companies.
Info from the Norwegian Tax Agency
Tax Office’s assessment
(this is a translation of a reply written originally in Norwegian)
The tax office assumes that the goods exported from the Netherlands do not entail registration duty in Norway for the Dutch company, but that the recipient (customers) in Norway must calculate import value added tax under the VAT Act (mval.) § 3-29.
The reason for our assessment and its reservations follows from the discussion below.
We will note that the statement is indicative and expresses only the opinion of the agency on the questions raised based on the facts presented. This means that the conclusion is not binding neither to the sender nor to the Tax Administration.
Tax Office’s remarks
Initially, VAT will be calculated on all sales of goods and services after mval. § 3-1, unless there are specific exceptions (in case of chapter 3) or exemption (in miscellaneous Chapters 6 and 7), cf. Mval. § 1-3, first paragraph, letters a to c.
The general rule on tax liability applies in the VAT area, cf. Mval. § 1-2. In mval. Section 1-2, second paragraph, defines the ‘value added tax’ as ‘the Norwegian mainland and all areas within the territorial boundary, but not Svalbard, Jan Mayen nor the Norwegian carriers’. The Netherlands is consequently outside the scope of the Norwegian VAT Act.
You refer to a registration limit similar what exists in EU countries. In the Norwegian VAT act, the rules are that if you have a taxable turnover that exceeds 50,000 NOK during a period of 12 months (not calendar year), you must register (your business) in the VAT Register, cf. Mval. § 2-1 first paragraph. If you do not have sales in Norway (export only), this registration requirement will not be triggered.
The receiver of the goods, ie. Norwegian customers, however, shall calculate value added tax on imports of goods into value added tax, cf. MVA. § 3-29.The obligation to pay is only triggered when the goods physically arrive at the value-added tax area.
Mval. Section 4-11 states in the first paragraph the main rule for the calculation basis for value added tax on imports of goods. The calculation basis shall be determined in accordance with Chapter 7 of the Customs Act on the basis for calculation of customs duties. The general rule in the Customs Tariff Regimes is stated in tl. § 7-10 on the transaction value of the goods, ie the price actually paid or payable for the goods on sale for export to Norway, adjusted in consultation with the provisions of sections 7-17 and 7-18.
You are wondering whether the exporter must complete customs declaration or other documents when the goods are shipped to Norway. The exporter must provide an invoice/delivery note so that the freight forwarder (the post or private freight forwarder) sees the actual price of the item (the transaction value). In this way, the import value tax can be calculated correctly against the recipient in Norway. We assume that this is sufficient from the seller’s side. For the sake of completeness, we refer to the Customs Tariff website www.toll.no for the calculation of customs duties.
Mval. chapter 7 deals with goods for which value added tax shall not be calculated on importation. It follows from mval. Section 7-2, first paragraph, that value added tax shall not be calculated on imports of goods as mentioned in several provisions of the Customs Act Chapter 5, including the provision in § 5-9. The Customs Act 5-9 deals with goods of lesser value. The provision states that goods sent to Norway’s recipient are duty-free if the individual consignment has a value below 350 NOK including transport and insurance costs. Given that the above terms are met, it is therefore correct as you suggest that these goods are exempt from value-added tax.
Norwegian VAT number
Format for EU-VAT number: Norway is not part of EU.
The Norwegian format for VAT-registration number is: NO000000000
Which VAT rate is used in Norway?
Standard VAT rate: 25%
Reduced sales tax rates in Norway:
Reduced VAT rates: 15% | 12%
Hotel, Museum, Passenger transport, Cinema, Amusement parks, Large scale sports events.
Books, Newspapers(including e-newspapers), Transfer of a business entity, Bank and Financial services, Insurance, Real estate, Health care, Education, Sport-and culture events.
You will not get reimbursed for:
Consumption (food/drinks), Entertainment, Fuel, Car rentals, Roadmaps, Car wash and Road tolls.
Distance selling threshold
What is the threshold value for sales to Norway?
Since Norway is not a member of the EU, the threshold value for distance selling is not applicable in the same manner as within the EU. In Norway, there is instead a rule that states you have to sell for over 50000 NOK before you can register there, but if you cross that limit then you must register in Norway. This also applies to foreign companies, but you cannot register before you come across this limit, which may seem a little strange. The border is much higher for charities and public utilities and for them the threshold is set to 140000 NOK.
Note that there is an exception called pre-registration, but then you must have acquired things for at least 250000 NOK, which must be linked to the company’s taxable turnover. Alternatively, if you are sure the taxable income will surpass 50000 NOK immediately 3 weeks after the first day you made a transaction.
Today, German companies can sell to Norwegian customers without VAT up to the limit of 350 NOK per package. This rule changes in 2020 (probably) implicating all imports into Norway will then be subject to Norwegian VAT. This is primarily because Swedish e-retailers outperformed Norwegian companies which had to apply domestic Norwegian VAT while the Swedish (and German) companies could sell without any taxes.
How to apply for VAT in Norway?
The registration process is available in English but not German. You apply for Norwegian VAT at:
How are sales to Norway posted?
If you sell goods or services to Norway from your i.e. French company, it counts as exports outside the EU. You post it the same way as any other export of goods outside the community border.
How do you post imports from Norway?
If you bought a product or service from Norway, this is considered an import from outside the EU. You should treat it as a regular import in your accounting, just as if you bought something from the US or Australia.
Where can I check domestic Norwegian MVA-numbers?
Which countries and regions are exempt from the EU VAT area?
Norway is, of course, exempt from the EU-VAT-area because it is not a member of the EU, but there are a lot more or less obvious exceptions that you should read more about here:
Do you sell electronic services to Norway?
If you sell downloadable files to Norway, it may be good to read more on this page:
It is only when you sell for more than 50000 NOK that you need to start reporting and collecting Norwegian VAT on the sales of electronic services to Norwegian individuals.