Can you order alcohol online and ship it to Norway?

Beer alcoholPhoto: Mafer Benitez / Unsplash
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You probably aren’t the first person curious about whether it’s legal to get alcohol shipped to Norway – and how.

We spoke to the Norwegian Directorate of Health to get the details on alcohol shipments.

First, here’s a rundown on alcohol laws in Norway, which are more strict than in most other EEA countries.

Alcohol regulations in Norway

You have to be 18 to buy wine or beer in Norway. To purchase hard liquor, you must be 20.

Licensed restaurants, bars, and clubs sell alcohol. It’s not easy to become licensed to do so, though – the Norwegian law regulating alcohol (the Alcohol Act) has a “requirement of good repute” for anyone seeking a license.

Some shops also sell beer and cider, but only if it’s under 5% ABV.

For any beer over that percentage, for wine, and for spirits (which Norway regulates as anything over 22 ABV) – you’ve got to head to Vinmonopolet (literally meaning, “The Wine Monopoly”), a state-run alcohol store.

Vinmonopolet working hours can vary from store to store, but none are open on Sundays, and they usually close before the evening Saturdays. These shops are usually found in larger cities, so those from rural areas might have to travel quite a bit before being able to enjoy a glass of whiskey back at home.

In most cases, advertising alcohol in Norway isn’t allowed, either – whether it’s on TV, the radio, billboards… Unless the government gives explicit allowance, that is. The same goes for any potential “additives to alcoholic beverages” and even “instructions for making alcoholic beverages”.

Alcohol in Norway is also highly taxed – and the higher the alcohol content, the higher the tax.

Having alcohol shipped to Norway

Here’s the deal on shipping alcohol to Norway, with inputs from Norway’s Directorate of Health, which is responsible for the Alcohol Act.

Is it legal to order alcohol online and get it shipped to Norway?

The Norwegian Directorate of Health tells us:

“For importing alcohol for private use or receiving alcohol as a gift from abroad, shipped or sent, there is an exemption from the requirement for permission to import alcohol to Norway.

Such imports can be made without a license or registration and free of charge, but custom clearance is needed.

Private imports require the alcohol to be for private use only.

Also, the person who imports, or the recipient of the gift, has to pay custom duties for the alcohol.”

P.s. Custom duties can be high, so be ready – sometimes even exceeding the cost of the alcoholic beverage being imported itself.

Are certain types of alcohol allowed, certain types not allowed?

“All kinds of alcoholic beverages are allowed as long as they are suited for consumption.

Liquids which are unsuited as intoxicants because of denaturation or for other reasons, are not regarded as alcoholic beverages pursuant to the Norwegian Alcohol Act.”

Is there a limit in alcohol percentage that can be shipped to Norway?

“The alcohol cannot exceed 60 vol% of alcohol.

“Import and sale of alcohol that exceeds 60 vol% are illegal in Norway.”

Is there a limit to the amount that can be shipped in at a time, or per person?

“There is no quantity restriction on private imports.

“But it is the private person who has the burden of proof that the alcohol is consumed by the private person himself and his immediate family.”

Do different import rules apply to individual citizens/families – and to businesses/restaurants?

“Yes.

“Import businesses and restaurants need a license/registration to import alcohol for wholesale and serving of alcohol.

“Such a license to import is given by the Norwegian Tax Administration.”

If you’re planning on ordering, or just curious on details about how the shipping of alcohol is regulated in general, outside of the Alcohol Act, check directly with Customs.

Have you ever ordered alcohol and had it shipped to Norway? How did it work out? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

Source: Norway Today

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