9 things that’ll get you arrested in Norway

Lego policePhoto: Tommy Pixel / Pixabay

Here’s what to avoid if you don’t want to get arrested in Norway.

Every country has at least a few laws that are archaic, forgotten – or just downright strange. Norway is no exception.

Owning a TV without paying the tax

Up until January of 2020, everyone who owned a TV in Norway had to cover a television license fee. Now, the license has been replaced with a tax.

The type of TV you own and the channels you watch don’t make any difference – you’ve still got to pay up.

For 2019, the annual TV license fee was just over NOK 3,000, but the swap for a tax aimed to reduce that number.

Finding a 100-year-old ship without reporting it to the police

If you find a ship a century or more old, call the police immediately.

It doesn’t matter if it’s intact or if you just find a part, you can’t keep it for yourself.

As for how to determine how old the ship or ship parts may be… Just use your best judgement.

Going on a polar bear safari

Per Norwegian law, “It is prohibited to lure, pursue or otherwise seek out polar bears.”

The animals are respected in Norway for what they are – wild predators. Instead of seeking them out in the wild, watch them from the safest possible distance for both humans and polar bears – on TV.

Just don’t forget to pay your TV tax first.

Buying alcohol on a Sunday

Buying, and selling for that matter, of alcohol is not permitted on Sundays. Don’t think about sneaking it past the self-checkout line in the grocery store, either. You’ll get rejected.

Luckily, you have six other days in the week to stock up.

Picking another person’s cloudberries

A law known as “Everyman’s right” gives Norwegians the right to freely gather berries across the countryside.

Cloudberries are on another level, however. If you pick cloudberries from someone’s private property in Northern Norway, expect a fine, maybe some jail time, or even getting chased away at gunpoint (it’s happened!)

Careful with the cloudberries.

Dressing up as a police officer on Halloween

The law states that “unauthorized use of a uniform” likely to “weaken confidence in public authority” is illegal.

So, if you do dress up as a police officer, go easy on the beer that night…

… Or face up to six months in jail.

Starting an earldom

Norway explicitly banned the creation of earldoms in its 1814 Constitution.

So don’t even try it.

Reading your boyfriend or girlfriend’s text messages

In Norway, breaking into your partner’s phone is not only frowned upon – it’s illegal.

This is considered a “Violation of the right to private communication” and can land you up to two years in jail.

We recommend looking over their shoulder instead.


Driving a snowmobile on a snow-covered road

“Roads that are constructed for motor cars but that are not cleared of snow in winter” are off-limits to all types of motor vehicles.

The law explicitly (oddly) includes snowmobiles, too.

To end with, there’s a commonly asked question about another law in Norway – is it really illegal to die in Longyearbyen, Svalbard? We’ve got the answer to that for you here.

Source: Norway Today


9 Comments on "9 things that’ll get you arrested in Norway"

  1. Also falconry is also illegal.
    Weird laws abound in all countries.

  2. OlafrGlucksburg | 1. November 2020 at 22:14 | Reply

    It’s not illegal to be genetically handsome, strong and amazing is it? Otherwise I’ll be in jail for sure😂🤣 In all seriousness I agree with the laws and they should be followed. Just had to Google earldom because this word I haven’t heard of since the Viking times mentioned it!🤣😂

  3. O we just love and adore you Norway.we ll be good&obey all your yummy rules.cant wait to move in.Lordbless love you all. .

  4. Reason why you can’t drive motor vehicle on snow covered roads is that you will pack the snow to a hard layer which would make it much more difficult to clear the snow later

    • Reluctantly, a U.S. american (snow-variety) | 2. November 2020 at 17:54 | Reply

      Right. Makes perfect sense. Many of these aren’t nearly as ridiculous as some might think they are (namely U.S. americans–particularly those who have never grown up around snow).

  5. It is illegal in Norway to add a soft drink to spirits in a bar. You can only add a soft drink to spirits, not the other way round, i.e.a Bacardi and coke. The logic is that you can weaken alcoholic spirits but you are not allowed to strengthen a soft drink with alcohol.

  6. In Norway, if you are in the bar section of a restaurant waiting for your table and are enjoying a spirit drink, like Whiskey, if you are called to your table before you have finished your drink and wish to take it with you to your table, you are not allowed. You have to go to your table without your drink but the bar waitress is allowed to bring it to you at your table.

  7. In Norway a policeman and a waitress are not allowed to marry. The reason being that if the waitress witnesses a breach of alcoholic law in the establishment where she works she would be obliged to report it to her husband. Even if she works in a place where alcohol is not served, as a professional waitress she might one day, for whatever reason, might find herself working in an establishment that does serve alcohol. This might put her in a position of dilemna in her relationship, so the State has legislated that this situation cannot arise.

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