Here you will find information about the various import duties and taxes, the possibilities for refund by the Customs and how you apply for a refund if your shipment was not a part of a collective customs clearance or was not a VOEC-shipment you were charged double VAT for.
Collective customs clearance and VOEC-shipments
The customs do not process applications for refunds or corrections of declarations where the customs clearance has been done through a collective customs clearance. A collective customs clearance is a simplified customs clearance and applies to shipments to private persons where the value including shipping is between NOK 350 and 3000.
You shall not apply to Customs for refunds on wrongly charged import taxes on shipments from online stores registered with the VOEC-scheme, for example eBay, Alibaba, AliExpress or Amazon.
If your shipment was not part of a collective customs clearance and is not a VOEC-shipment you paid VAT double for, you can find information below on the most common reasons for applying for a refund, and about what the Customs can refund.
Customs duties, excise duties and VAT
When you import goods from abroad, you may have to pay customs duties, excise duties and VAT in addition to the transport company's customs clearance fee. The import duties and taxes are determined by the kind of goods you are importing. Below we explain the different kinds of duties and taxes with examples.
Customs duties or tariff is a tax imposed on imports (or exports) of goods. The rates are determined in the Customs Tariff. In short, there is only customs duty on clothing and other already made textiles like bed linen, curtains, towels etc., and on food and drinks. All other goods are free of Customs duty.
This is a duty on imports of certain goods such as alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, and beverage packaging. You will find a full overview of the various excise duties on the Tax Administrations website.
This is a general tax in imports of goods. The general rate is 25 % while it is 15 % on food and drinks (non-alcoholic).
Customs clearance fee
This is a fee charged by the carrier (for instance Posten, UPS, DHL, FedEx, TNT) for the Customs clearance of your shipment. The different transport companies have different names for this fee. Examples are "pris fortolling", "utleggsgebyr", "fortollingsgebyr" and "spedisjonsgebyr".
What the Customs can refund
The Customs can in most cases refund both customs duty, excise duties and VAT. However, we cannot refund excise duties and VAT once you have returned the item to the seller. In these cases you should apply for a refund to The Norwegian Tax Administration.
The Customs never refund the customs clearance fee.
You have bought a jacket abroad and paid both customs duty and VAT on import. However, there was something wrong with the jacket and you have cancelled the purchase and returned it to the seller.
To get back the duty and tax you paid, you must:
send an application to the Customs to get the customs duty back
and send an application to the Tax Administration to get the VAT back.
You have bought a mobile phone abroad. Mobile phones and other electronics are free from customs duty on import, but you have paid VAT. The phone stopped working, so you have cancelled the purchase and returned the phone to the seller.
To get back the VAT you paid, you must:
You have received a gift from relatives abroad that contained soft drinks, toys, and clothing. However, the sender made a mistake and stated a wrong high value, so the shipment exceeded the duty- and tax-free limit of NOK 1000 for gift shipments. The shipment was Customs cleared by the transport company based on this wrong value. The correct value of the shipment was NOK 500, and it was therefore within the duty- and tax-free limit.
To get back the duties and tax you paid, you must:
The amount limit of NOK 100
The Customs never refund amounts below NOK 100.
Requirements for documentation
When you apply for a refund, you must be able to document the information in the application. When you are using our application form, you will be informed what kind of documentation we need to process your application. You must enclose all the documentation we request. If you do not do so, we will not be able to process your application, and we will return it to you.
There are some deadlines for how long it can take from the time of importation before you apply fo a refund. You must apply within three years after customs clearance if you believe that this was incorrect. If the item was returned and you wish to apply for a refund of customs duty, you must apply within one year after the item was returned. The item cannot have been in Norway for more than two years. A good advice is to apply for a refund as soon as possible.
Processing the application
The Customs will process your application and the associated documentation. If the Customs agrees that you have paid too much, you will receive a refund. The payout is done by the Norwegian Tax Administration.
This is how you apply
Log on to the form in Altinn.
Fill in required information, attach necessary documents, and send the form through Altinn.
The Customs registers this as a case.
You will automatically receive a letter through e-Formidling (e-Communication) or to the e-mail address you have provided. Here the Customs confirms that we have received your application and the case number it has been assigned.
After some processing time, you will receive an answer from the Customs.
If you do not have a P-number or a D-number, you will not be able to use our form in Altinn. If so, follow this link.