If you return goods to the sender abroad because of errors or deficiencies, you can apply for a refund of the taxes you paid on import.
VAT-registered businesses cannot apply for the refund of VAT
If you are registered in the VAT register, you must calculate and report the import VAT to the Norwegian Tax Administration by way of a VAT return.
You can get a refund for customs duty and VAT for goods that are returned abroad if they have been wrongly delivered, delivered too late, or are not in accordance with the order. Applications for duty refunds must be sent to the customs region. Applications for VAT refunds must be sent to the Norwegian Tax Administration.
To obtain a refund, the seller
- must provide a replacement delivery free of charge that has been cleared into Norway, or
- accept that the goods are not in accordance with the purchase agreement.
You must document this in the application.
If the seller has not accepted the deficiency, you cannot get a refund even if the goods are deficient and you have returned them overseas. Consequently, you should always remember to have an agreement with the foreign seller before returning the goods.
When you return goods and receive replacement goods, you must always pay the customs duty and taxes on the replacement goods. You can only be refunded the duty and taxes on the original goods. The replacement goods must therefore be cleared in the usual manner.
If goods that have previously been cleared into Norway are sent abroad in an unaltered and unused condition, you can also apply for a refund of the duties and VAT. Applications for duty refunds must be sent to the customs region. Applications for VAT refunds must be sent to the Norwegian Tax Administration.
To obtain a refund of customs duty and taxes, you must have sold the goods to a buyer outside Norway. This can either be a new buyer or the original seller buying the goods back.
Norwegian Customs may permit you to destroy deficient goods instead of returning them abroad. Contact your customs region to reach an agreement on destruction. Destruction may be an option if you have imported foodstuffs that have perished by the time of their arrival into Norway.
How to apply for a refund
Send your customs duty refund application to the customs region where your company is registered according to the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises.
The following information must be included in the application to the customs region:
- name and address
- short explanation of why you are applying for the refund
- copy of the purchase invoice
- documentation confirming that the goods have been cleared into Norway (e.g. an import declaration or receipt from a forwarding agent)
- documentation confirming that the goods have left Norway (e.g. an export declaration or receipt from a forwarding agent)
- documentation showing that:
- the seller accepts that the goods are deficient (e.g. through the receipt of a replacement delivery that has been cleared into Norway, or a credit note, etc.), or
- the goods have been sold to a buyer outside Norway in an unaltered and unused condition, or
- the goods have been used as raw materials, accessory agents, or are semi-finished for the manufacture, repair, or processing of finished goods in a Norwegian enterprise
- account number for refund
The application and associated documentation will be thoroughly assessed to determine whether the duties and taxes can be refunded.
Note that different deadlines apply for the refund of customs duty and VAT.
In order to recover customs duty, the goods must be returned to the sender no later than two years after their import. Norwegian Customs may extend this deadline in special circumstances upon request.
An application for a refund of customs duty must be received by Norwegian Customs no later than one year after the item has been re-exported abroad. This deadline cannot be extended.
In order to recover VAT, the goods must be returned abroad to the sender no later than one year after their import. The Norwegian Tax Administration may extend this deadline in special circumstances on request.