Skip to content

Strategy plan for Norwegian Customs

Business idea: We protect society and secure revenues for the state.

Main objectives:

  • Stop the illegal import and export of goods
  • Assess the correct excise and customs duties
  • Timely payment of excise and customs duties
  • Provide good service for our users

Protector of society and collector of customs and excise duties

Norwegian Customs has two main tasks. One is to collect customs and excise duties to finance our welfare society. Economic control and the combating financial crime is part of this task. The other main task is to use our unique first-line position at the border to protect society against the illegal import and export of goods. The fight against cross-border organised crime is the most important aspect of this. These two main tasks are both part of our business idea: We protect society and secure revenues for the state.

Norwegian Customs is a control agency, but our goal is that the business community and private individuals who comply with the regulations will also see us as a service-minded agency and partner. This is reflected in our main goals, which include border control, assessment of customs and excise duties, collection and service. It is a positive challenge for us to strike the right balance between control, on the one hand, and simplification and service, on the other.

The purpose of the strategy plan is to describe the direction in which we wish the service’s most important tasks to develop in future. After an extensive process to which all parts of the service contributed input, we are left with twelve strategies that indicate how we want to develop the service in order to continuously improve the job we do for society. In addition, it is our aim that all employees of the service will identify with the strategy plan and find their task described in it.

I hope the strategy plan becomes a living document that will be read, used and hopefully discussed both inside and outside the service.
Bjørn Røse
Director General of Customs

Efficient movements of goods and uncomplicated border crossing

The large volume of traffic and movement of goods to and from Norway make great demands on the way Norwegian Customs carries out its tasks. Declaration, assessment and control must take place in a manner that does not hold up lawful traffic more than necessary.
This shall be achieved, among other things, by developing electronic solutions and receiving necessary information at an earlier stage, so that risk assessment, control, assessment and the release of goods can to a greater extent take place on crossing the border.

It is important to harmonise our regulations, procedures and systems with those of our trading partners.

We must have simple procedures for users who wish to comply with the regulations.

We shall:

  • Facilitate efficient declaration and easy access to the market for business and industry
  • Ensure that private individuals can import and export lawful goods in a simple manner
  • Play an active role in the efforts to harmonising regulations and procedures internationally
  • Use control methods and technology that underpin the right balance between flow of goods and control

Correct and efficient assessment

Assessment is the basis for the collection and follow-up of customs and excise payments.

Updated regulations, simple procedures, good electronic solutions and efficient control shall ensure that customs and excise duties are correctly assessed.

Norwegian Customs shall offer the business sector and private individuals electronic solutions for declaration.

The commercial import and export of goods shall be dealt with electronically. Private individuals who import goods of minor value for their own use shall be able to customs clear them themselves on Norwegian Customs' website.

We shall:

  • Offer electronic solutions for declaration
  • Communicate well with people declaring goods and persons liable to pay duties
  • Contribute to making the regulations precise and easily understandable
  • Have cost-efficient and user-friendly procedures and system solutions
  • Provide good guidance, but also penalise serious errors

Simple payment and efficient collection

It should be easy for our users to pay stipulated duties. Norwegian Customs shall offer electronic payment services and pertaining reporting arrangements. It is especially important to improve the system in connection with motor vehicle taxes, among other things in order to reduce the number of people who have to personally go to the Public Roads Administration’s Traffic Services Offices and customs offices in connection with private import.

By checking users’ creditworthiness and ability to pay, and by requiring security where necessary, we shall prevent people falling into arrears.

If payment is not made, collection shall take place quickly and effectively so that the risk of loss is as little as possible. Collection adapted to the debtor’s circumstances and advance payments are important tools in this context.

We shall:

  • Offer user-friendly, electronic payment and reporting solutions.
  • Prevent arrears by checking the ability to pay and creditworthiness of those liable to duty.
  • Quickly implement measures in cases of default of payment
  • Have secure and efficient procedures and systems

Prevent the evasion of customs and excise duties and combat economic crime

Norwegian Customs is responsible for almost a fifth of the State’s revenues and is an important contributor to the financing of Norway’s welfare society.

Our economic control shall uncover and prevent evasion of customs and excise duties and economic crime. We will strengthen the fight against customs evasion, currency smuggling and money laundering by further developing control methods and risk assessments.

We shall protect businesses that comply with the regulations against disloyal competition from cheaters and rule breakers.

Violations shall be effectively penalised. Norwegian Customs will work for greater use of penalty charges and administrative sanctions.

While the fight against organised crime is the top priority, we shall also ensure that private individuals comply with the regulations.

We shall:

  • Prevent customs evasion, currency smuggling and money laundering
  • Promote efficient penalties
  • Improve selection methods, control methods and control tools
  • Exercise effective economic control based on risk analysis

A visible protector of society and border authority

Norwegian Customs shall protect society against the smuggling of drugs, doping substances, weapons, fake medicines, contagious goods, dangerous waste and other goods that threaten health, the environment and society.

And, not least, we shall stop and prevent the smuggling of taxable goods and pirated goods, because such violations undermine society and the competitiveness of business and industry.

Norwegian Customs has a unique first-line position at the border and shall protect society by controlling goods, means of transport and travellers crossing the border on their way in and out of the country.

The fight against organised crime has first priority.

We shall:

  • Protect society by maintaining a visible presence at the border
  • Prevent the smuggling of goods that constitute a threat to life, health and the environment
  • Stop and prevent the smuggling of goods subject to duties
  • Protect the competitiveness of law-abiding business and industry

Contribute to ensuring that customs duties and regulations strike the correct balance between fiscal, environmental and user considerations

Norwegian Customs shall have the capability required to carry out assignments relating to the framing of duties and regulations. It shall be possible to prepare reports of high quality at short notice. We shall be familiar with the regulations in other countries, especially the EU’s regulations.

Norwegian Customs shall have legal expertise and be familiar with the consequences of duties and regulations in relation to revenues, technology, the environment and user-friendliness. Reports commissioned by the Ministry shall be prepared on the basis of wide-ranging expertise.

We shall:

  • Contribute to framing regulations and duties so that the correct balance is struck between fiscal considerations, environmental considerations, user considerations and other considerations
  • Be expert in national and international regulations so that commissioned reports can be prepared quickly and be of high quality
  • Be updated about international developments that are important to fiscal policy

Targeted intelligence and systematic risk analysis

Norwegian Customs' border control and economic control shall be based on risk assessments, intelligence and focused target selection in order to achieve high accuracy and ensure that lawful activities and the lawful import and export of goods are not hampered unnecessarily.

Smuggling and customs evasion are becoming more and more professionally organised. This increases the need for systematic analyses of modus operandi and trend analyses and requires more knowledge about the flow of goods, money and information.

Systems for the registration, storage and processing of results and information are being further developed. Risk analyses and verification controls shall be carried out to verify and improve current control strategies.

The secondment of customs officers to other countries and organisations shall contribute to good intelligence gathering.

We shall:

  • Carry out systematic risk analyses and intelligence gathering
  • Base our control activity on risk analyses and intelligence
  • Maintain a good overview of lawful and unlawful flows of traffic, money and goods

An active collaborator nationally and internationally

At Norway’s borders, Norwegian Customs does not just carry out tasks on its own behalf, but also tasks for more than 20 other authorities. This results in efficient use of resources, good results and good service for users.
Cooperation at the border will be maintained and developed.

We will continue our excellent cooperation with the police, the Norwegian Tax Administration, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, the Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, the Norwegian Coast Guard, the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the Norwegian Maritime Directorate, the Norwegian Agricultural Authority, Statistics Norway, the Directorate of Fisheries and others and we will seek cooperation with other authorities if this can contribute to better results or greater efficiency.

We will further develop our good cooperation with foreign customs and police authorities, as well as international organisations such as the EU, EFTA, WCO and WTO.

Norwegian Customs shall cooperate with the business sector.

We shall:

  • Carry out tasks at the border for other authorities
  • Cooperate with the Norwegian business sector
  • Cooperate with authorities and organisations in Norway and abroad
  • Share knowledge and expertise with others
  • Contribute to harmonising regulations and procedures by playing an active role and contributing to setting the agenda in national and international forums

Good service and communication

Norwegian Customs shall provide good service to the business sector and private individuals. The goal is for users who comply with the regulations to see us not just as a control authority, but also as a service-minded agency.

Norwegian Customs shall process cases correctly and quickly and actively offer information according to user needs.

Electronic communication shall be Norwegian Customs' primary channel for communicating with users.

Norwegian Customs shall be seen by users as a uniform service and it shall communicate clearly. Good internal communication is a prerequisite for good user information.

We shall:

  • Process cases correctly and quickly and treat users well
  • Contribute to coherent communication in line with the State’s communication policy
  • Ensure that the information is targeted, correct, understandable and easy to access
  • Carry out user surveys
  • Act in such a manner that users who comply with the regulations see Norwegian Customs as a service-minded agency

Use of modern technology

Using modern technology is a prerequisite for achieving and maintaining good results. Our scanners, IT solutions, payment machines and laboratory are examples of good technological aids. However, technology develops quickly. We must therefore keep close track of developments, comply with the Government's modernisation requirements and use new solutions that prove to be efficient.

We will work to develop more efficient IT solutions that form the basis for analysis and data comparison and that are based on users only having to provide information once.

Norwegian Customs wishes to introduce new technological solutions in connection with border controls, for instance by maintaining an electronic presence at border crossing points where we are not physically present.

We shall:

  • Closely monitor technological developments and make active use of modern technology
  • Have IT support in all Norwegian Customs' core areas
  • Adapt regulations to current technological possibilities and risks
  • Endeavour to have electronic solutions for the processing and communication of information about goods
  • Make use of available technology to obtain an overview of the flow of traffic, money and goods

An attractive workplace with highly capable employees

Our employees are our most important resource. Good results are created when capable and motivated employees and managers cooperate.

Norwegian Customs' managers shall understand their profession, be clear about their expectations, show consideration and motivate employees to produce good results. It is an important task for managers in Norwegian Customs to recruit and retain good employees.

It is equally important that our employees have high integrity and professional expertise, that they take responsibility for their own learning and that they are results-oriented.

The service shall be an inclusive and tolerant workplace with a good working environment.

Norwegian Customs shall be an expert service where doing a good job for society is the top priority.

We shall:

  • Be a performance-oriented service with an organisational culture characterised by good results, expertise and a desire to do a good job for society
  • Have professionally competent, clear and caring managers
  • Have employees with high integrity
  • Have a good and tolerant working environment
  • Endeavour to ensure that the service’s employees choose to stay with Norwegian Customs for a long time
  • Have an organisational culture based on inclusion, equality and diversity
  • Preserve and develop the service’s ‘soul’, pride and history

Good management and internal control

Good management is about developing a management and organisational culture in which good results are the most important thing and where it is natural to measure and be measured. Follow-up and internal control are not expressions of suspicion, but mean that managers care about their employees.

Norwegian Customs shall be characterised by close follow-up of results and the use of resources, combined with caring for employees.

For a control and revenue collection service, it is important to have high integrity and to enjoy society’s trust. Through quality assurance and internal control we shall ensure that regulations and instructions are complied with in all parts of the organisation.

Out employees shall exercise good ethical discretionary judgment in their work based on ethical guidelines and good internal control.

We shall:

  • Practise performance management based on dialogue, realistic goals, periodic reporting and feedback
  • Have an organisational culture where it is accepted that good internal control is particularly important in a public control service and that control and follow-up are not expressions of suspicion, but of caring about one’s employees
  • Have an organisational culture characterised by good ethical values and a genuine understanding of the importance of everyone complying with the rules concerning conflicts of interest, receiving gifts, secondary jobs etc.
  • Have a budget and financial management system that is based on prudence in the use of the State’s resources, where a division of functions is an important contribution to good internal control
  • Speak out if we discover errors, or a risk of errors, and demand that this be received in a positive manner.