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Research by Country/Region January 17, 2018  
NORWAY: CUSTOMS, TAXES and DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS for IT PRODUCTS and SERVICES IMPORTS

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A. Is this country a member of the Information Technology Agreement?

B. Customs documentation requirements for IT products

C. Software: duties and taxes, updates, licenses, electronically delivered

D. IT services: tax treatment and other regulations

E. Refurbished, used, or repaired computer equipment imports


A. IS THIS COUNTRY A MEMBER OF THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AGREEMENT?
YES.

Signatories to the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) have eliminated their import duties on a wide range of information technology products, including software and computer hardware. For more information on the ITA, and exact tariff elimination schedules of signatories, click here.

B. CUSTOMS DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS FOR IT PRODUCTS

What are the documentation requirements for the physical import of software? For other information technology products?
An invoice stating the procurement price is required for both software and other IT products.
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C. SOFTWARE: DUTIES and TAXES, UPDATES, LICENSES, ELECTRONICALLY DELIVERED DUTIES AND TAXES ON SOFTWARE IMPORTS

Are duties assessed on the intellectual property of the software or on the medium on which is it presented?
Neither, computer software marketed and sold in Norway is free of import duty, but subject to a 24 percent VAT tax.

Is customized software treated differently than packaged software?
NO.
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1. IMPORTS OF SOFTWARE UPDATES

What are the customs duties and tax implications for software sold with updates when the full sales price, including cost of updates, is shown on the original commercial invoice? Are duties and taxes paid on that amount? What happens when the updates are sent at a later date? Are duties/taxes applied again? If so, based on what value? How should information presented on the commercial invoice for the original and subsequent shipments to avoid paying duties/taxes more than once on a single sale?
VAT tax is paid on the full amount. If updates are sent at a later date and not paid at an earlier stage, VAT tax is paid on the amount of the update. VAT tax should only be paid once for one product and the original invoice should be presented in such cases.
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2. SOFTWARE LICENSES: CUSTOMS CLASSIFICATION, IMPORT DUTIES, TAXES, OTHER

Are software licenses classified in Harmonized System 4907?
YES.

Are import duties/taxes applied? If so, on what cost/price base are they levied?
Only VAT tax on the purchase price is applied.
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Are withholding or other additional taxes applied on software licenses? If yes, how?
NO.

If a U.S. license agreement is included in the packaging or is part of the installation/registration of shrink-wrapped software imported from the United States, would that agreement be binding on consumers in your market? If so, would U.S. or local laws pertain?
Shrink-wrap software is considered to be software distributed either as a hard package where the terms and conditions are included in the package and the wrapping has to be unwrapped in order to access the terms and conditions (and also the software), hereafter referred to as a traditional shrink wrap. Shrink-wrap software is also considered software downloaded from the Internet and then installed on the computer. In this situation a license is presented before installation. The latter is also referred to as “click-wrap.”

Therefore, three scenarios are considered. First, that the software is purchased by a Norwegian through a retailer in Norway. Second, that the software is purchased though the Internet and downloaded and, finally, the software is shipped to Norway after being purchased through the Internet, ordered by catalogue or similar.

Norwegian legislation

Legal status of shrink wrap licenses

According to Norwegian legislation there is a principle that parties to an agreement or license will only be bound by terms and conditions they been made aware of before the agreement or license is entered into (They have to “accept” the terms and conditions). The same principle is also addressed in Section 7 of the Long Distance Selling Act (angrerettloven), addressing Internet purchases.

As a result a consumer opening a traditional shrink wrap software will only be able to access the terms and conditions after the purchase has taken place and, thus, cannot be considered bound by its terms and conditions as such. The purchase will however be subject to the general “back-ground law” for this type of transaction, such as the Agreement Act, the purchasing Act, the Copyright Act (åndsverkloven) and other legislation relating to consumer purchases.

For the three scenarios, this means that if the software is sold through a retailer in Norway or shipped to Norway, the purchase will as a point of departure not include any reference to the license, meaning that the consumer cannot be considered having accepted the license. If the license can be seen through the wrapping and referred to before or during the purchase, it may be considered a part of the purchase agreement depending on the content.

For click-wrap licenses, that is, if the software is ordered and downloaded over the Internet, the principle is similar. Whether the conditions of such a license are considered accepted by the purchaser, will depend on the conditions of the license and how they are brought to the purchaser’s attention prior to the purchase. The issue is whether one may consider that the license has been read, understood and willingly accepted. For example, complicated and lengthy license in small print may easily be considered not entered into. This has to be determined individually.

The choice of law and jurisdiction

The choice of law and jurisdiction is actually two separate issues. The first issue is weather Norwegian consumers are bound by such clauses (mandatory legislation for the protection of consumers), and second, when no choice of law has been made, what does the Norwegian legislation permit.

As for the acceptance of choice of law clauses in relation to shrink wrap and click-wrap the Norwegian legislation does not have a clear answer, but it is likely that a choice of law clause will not be considered accepted when selling to a Norwegian consumer if it deprives him or her of their Norwegian consumer rights. This is independent of which scenario is to be applied. This follows indirectly from the 1980 Rome Convention on applicable law in contracts. A similar solution is found in Section 3 and 5 of the Distance Selling Act. In lack of a choice of law clause, a Norwegian court will most likely apply Norwegian consumer legislation.

As for jurisdiction, Section 3 and 4 in the Distance Selling Act mandatory rules state that conditions of Agreement with consumers stipulating jurisdictional or arbitration clause before a conflict has risen, shall be regarded as void. The Lugano Convention also supports this. The solution is, therefore, that independent of the scenario in question, the Norwegian consumer may only be sued in Norway at his or her place of domicile.
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3. SOFTWARE DELIVERED OVER THE INTERNET/ELECTRONICALLY DELIVERED SOFTWARE

Are taxes applied to software delivered to the end-user over the Internet? If so, on what value?
It is the end users duty to report and pay VAT tax for the purchase price of products delivered via the Internet.
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Would the situation be different if this software were instead delivered to a distributor who has a license to produce (replicate) and sell the software?
If the software were delivered to a distributor, it would be the distributors responsibility.

What are the documentation requirements for the electronically delivered import of digitized products (i.e. software, movie downloads) over the Internet or other networks?
An invoice stating the procurement price is required for electronically delivered imports.

Must an electronically delivered software import be accompanied by a physical shipment of the same product?
No physical shipment is required.
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D. IT SERVICES: TAX TREATMENT AND OTHER REGULATIONS

Are services (i.e. training, set-up, etc) relating to the sale of software taxed? If so, at what rate and based on what value?
All services performed in Norway are subject to a 24 percent VAT tax based on the full value of the service.

Are U.S. IT solution providers permitted to send personnel into the country to set up hardware/software-related systems?
Yes, U.S. personnel are permitted on a tourist visa. If the personnel bring equipment of a high value, a deposition value is required.

Are special visa, work permits, and/or professional certification by an accredited body required?
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E. REFURBISHED, USED, OR REPAIRED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT IMPORTS

1. REFURBISHED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT

Is the import of refurbished computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges) permitted?
Yes, such imports are permitted.

If so, what are the documentation requirements?
Documentation required is invoice stating the procurement price. A 24 percent VAT tax on that value is assessed. No special labeling is required.

What value should be shown on the invoice?
The procurement price should be shown.

How are duties and taxes assessed?
Taxes are assessed on the procurement price. IT products enter duty-free.
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2. USED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT

Is the import of used computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges) permitted?
Yes, such imports are permitted.

If so, what are the documentation requirements?
Documentation required is invoice stating the procurement price. A 24 percent VAT tax on that value is assessed. No special labeling is required.

What value should be shown on the invoice?
The procurement price should be shown.

How are duties and taxes assessed?
Taxes are assessed on the procurement price. IT products enter duty-free.
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3. REPAIRED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT

Are duties and taxes assessed on the re-import of repaired computer equipment?
A 24 percent VAT tax on the reparation cost is assessed.

How should the commercial invoice appear?
The invoice should state the cost of repair.

RESPONSE INFORMATION

The responses were prepared by U.S. Department of Commerce/Commercial in Oslo, Norway, in winter/spring 2003. For more specific questions, please contact:

Victoria Aresvik
Commercial Specialist
Ph: +47 21 30 85 12
Fax: +47 22 55 88 03
Victoria.Aresvik@mail.doc.gov
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Special Note: The above information is intended to serve only as unofficial guidance. In seeking to obtain government rulings in specific cases, it will often be necessary to refer to special laws, separate regulations and announcements, and case-by-case decisions by the government. Beyond the general guidelines shown above, legal counsel should be retained at an early stage of consummation of a major procurement contract, and before entering into any legal commitments.

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