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Norway scraps import VAT; new import VAT filing; marketplace obligations

  • Feb 28, 2020 | Richard Asquith

Norway is to withdraw the VAT-free threshold of 350 NOK on imported packages to Norwegian consumers from 1 April 2020. It has already removed the threshold on 1 January 2020 on foodstuffs, restricted goods and excise-liable goods.

Instead, Norweigan VAT at 25% must be charged by the seller or marketplace at the point-of-sale on transactions below NOK 3,000, and reported in a new filing.

Marketplaces that facilitate the sales by their sellers to consumers of imported goods will also become liable to collect VAT, and remit it to the Norweigan authorities. This is ahead of the similar EU marketplace deemed supplier reforms of 2021.

VAT On E-Commerce import VAT filing

Foreign sellers to consumers of imported goods or electronic services not exceeding NOK 3,000 will now have to charge VAT at the point-of-sale, and declare it through a new simplified registration scheme, called VOEC (VAT On E-Commerce).

If a Seller of goods sells goods through its own online store etc., the supplier shall calculate and pay VAT on the supplies. If the supply of the goods is facilitated with the use of an intermediary (i.e. marketplace, platform, app, portal) the intermediary shall be regarded as the supplier for VAT purposes, instead of the underlying supplier of the goods.

Sellers and marketplaces that are already registered in the VOES scheme (VAT On Electronic Services) can use their current registration for reporting and paying VAT on low value goods. 

Failure to register for VOEC will result in the goods being blocked at the border, and VAT being paid by the final consumer to clear them.

For trasnactions above NOK3,000, the existing import VAT processes will apply.

Import Green Channel for speedy clearance

Sellers must mark the consignments to Norwegian consumers with a VOEC identification number and relevant information to ensure correct customs clearance.Since VAT has already been charged on the goods, there will be no border collection of VAT for VOEC-goods - creating a 'Green Channel' for speedy clearance

However, if the parcel cannot be identified as within the VOEC-scheme, there are risks of delayed border crossing and double taxation. To secure swift border crossing and avoid the risk of double taxation, the suppliers of VOEC-goods must ensure that relevant information about the parcel and its contents is available to the transporter and/or shipping agent and the Norwegian Customs.

The relevant information consists of:

  1. The supplier’s registration number (VOEC-number), which the supplier will get upon registration in the VOEC scheme. This unique number must accompany the shipment as described below.
  2. The contents of the parcel, including value, description and quantity of goods.

The above matches the 2021 EU withdrawal of low-value consignment stock relief and new EU Import One Stop Shop (‘IOSS’) filing.

Need help with your Norwegian VAT compliance?

Researching Norwegian VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade. 

VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is the former VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara
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