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To people subjected to customs controls

People sometimes find being subjected to customs control an uncomfortable experience. We would therefore like to explain why such controls are necessary.

Note: An update of this article is pending. Please note that some terms and/or references may differ from the Movement of Goods Act and the Customs Duty Act that enters into force from the 1st of January 2023.

Why controls?

Large quantities of illegal drugs are sold in Norway. Most of them are smuggled into the country by couriers who look just like you and me. In its role as protector of society´s interests, the Customs Service has a duty to combat smuggling and prevent the spread of narcotic substances and other illegal goods.

How do we carry out controls?

One of the chief tasks of the Customs Service is to control persons, luggage and means of transport that cross the border in order to uncover illegal importing and exporting of goods. While a control is being carried out, we may have to withhold your phone and you may also have to wait some other place than where your means of transport, luggage and travelling companions are. Our goal is to carry out the control as carefully and considerately as possible while showing you respect.

Why you?

We wish to subject as few travellers as possible to customs control. Since we do not always have information about who smugglers are, it is unfortunately unavoidable that innocent travellers also have to provide information or be subjected to a more extensive control.

What are your rights?

If you had to take your clothes off during the control, you are entitled to an explanation for why this was necessary. 

If you would like written grounds for the control, you can request this orally during the control or send a request stating the time and place of the control within one week of when the control took place. You are then entitled to receive a reply within one week.

If you wish to file a complaint about the control, please send your complaint to Norwegian Customs. Remember to tell us where the incident happened.