Getting there…

…but dragging their feet. After the infamous, for us here in the far north, Rosengren-case, Sweden was forced to accept private import of alcoholic beverages for personal use. A short time thereafter the ESA (no, not the space agency – the EFTA/EEA Surveilance Agency) said that Norwegian rules also had to comply with this.

After dragging their feet for a while and trying their best to postpone the inevitable Norway finally said thei would “look into” changing the rules. They then spent almost a year looking into what needed to be done and just before Christmas they sent out the new rules for comments.

In short they will:

  1. make it legal to receive alcohol from abroad without applying for permission first
  2. make it legal to purchase alcohol from abroad and have it shipped to Norway
  3. allow travellers to bring as much alcohol as they want into Norway

as long as

  1. proper taxes are paid (as of 2009 it’s 6,07 NOK per percent and litre, plus VAT of course (25%))
  2. see point 1
  3. you pay if you have more than 1 litre with you. This litre is the duty free allowance, the next 4 litres can be declared and paid for with the simplified rate (260 NOK/litre) while anything above has to be paid for using the normal taxes (point 1)

Some regulations are proposed:

  1. Times for delivering the beverages are, usually, to follow the times set for the state run Vinmonopolet
  2. Delivery companies must register themselves as a “alcohol approved delivery company”, and employees must go through training for this.
  3. Delivery employees must be above 18 (for delivering beer or wine) or 20 (spirits) years of age
  4. Delivery employees must make sure the receiving party is above the apporved age (18/20) and not drunk at time of delivery

That’s the short version of what the government has used 46 pages to say. All comments must be received by the proper authorioties by March 5th, and after the proposal with be refined a bit and go before Parliament – hopefully before the summer break. Most likely the new rules will be in effect from January 1st 2010 – after that: On-line whisky retailers, here I come!

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2 Responses to “Getting there…”

  1. kallaskander Says:

    Hi there,

    happy tidings but I would advise not to let your hopes getting too high.

    Even after this Norwegian questions are settled there is still the EC.

    Many online retailers in the EC might not deliver because of that:

    http://www.eurocare.org/press/newsletter/november_december_2006/news_from_the_european_union/european_court_of_justice_ruling_on_excise_duties

    There are loads of comments on this ruling which can be googled for under the tag “Joustra”.

    Sorry to spoil the fun.

  2. whiskyviking Says:

    I know some retailers might still not bother with the marginal Norwegian market. But the advantage for us is that the retailer is not responsible for the national taxes, as with sales cross EU-borders (something cosumers in Denmark is just too aware of).
    A great many retailers do send to Norway today already, although the shipping rates are extreme (small country at the edge of the world=high shipping costs) – with most bottles slipping through (as long as they are market as “gift”).

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