Norway aligns with the European Union on customs seizures


Norway is not a member state of the European Union, but it is a member of the European Economic Area. This means that Norway sets its own tariffs on goods from outside the single market and at the same time, Norwegian goods are imported into the European Union tariff-free.

For Norwegian exporters, this means that they need to be able to prove that the goods they are importing into the European Union are of Norwegian origin. Goods from third countries can’t be imported tariff-free.

As of January 2021, the Norwegian government will install new rules and regulations for customs seizures, bringing them more in line with current European Union regulations. The new rules make it easier for rights holders to apply for the Customs Authority to detain suspected infringement goods and the procedure for destroying them has also been simplified. The simplified procedures will lead to fewer costs for rights holders. 

What is a Customs Seizure?

When a customs authority seizes a shipment, they take custody of the goods. Reasons for seizing a shipment can vary, but mostly it has to do with what they call infringement of intellectual property. Goods can be illegal copies, but it could also be that a design is too similar. In most cases, these goods are destroyed by the customs authority.

Rights holders can apply for the customs authority to detain and seize a shipment with suspected infringing goods. While the Norwegian rules will be aligned with European Union regulations, they will not be fully harmonized. There is a European system for submitting applications for border seizures, but Norway will not become a part of that system. An application to stop infringement goods in the European Union is not sufficient. A separate application has to be made to the Norwegian Customs Authority. 

If you want to read more on the enforcement of intellectual property rights by European customs, you can find the relevant legislation here

Contact one of our specialists if you have any questions.