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Norway: Guide to the new import VAT scheme

A new scheme for import VAT and a new VAT return will be introduced in Norway in 2017. Read more about the changes below.

1) General
The new VAT return will replace the current version as from 1 January 2017. The deadlines for submission of the new VAT return and payment of VAT will remain unchanged. However, accounting systems, accounts and VAT codes must be updated. This means that enterprises should upgrade their accounting systems before commencing the accounting for 2017. We advise you to contact your system supplier in order to get a status.

2) New system for import VAT
As from 2017, importers who are registered in the Norwegian VAT register, shall calculate and report import VAT in the new VAT return. These importers will no longer receive VAT invoices from Customs Authorities (at the web site www. altinn.no) or shipping agents as the import VAT no longer shall be paid to the Customs Authority upon the importation. The import VAT will no longer be declared in the customs declarations and will, thus, not be charged in the duty deferment account (customs credit). The basis for import VAT and the VAT amount will therefore be removed from box 47 in the customs declaration. As from 2017, the importers shall calculate the basis and the VAT amount in the new VAT return based on the information in the customs declarations.

The Authorities are currently working on an online solution on the website www.altinn.no, providing an overview of all imports per month (declaration list). We emphasize that this solution per September 2016 is still not completed and tested, but will be made available to the importers before 1 January 2017.

Please note that the obligation to declare the goods to Norwegian Customs will remain unchanged. Also note that any customs duties and excise duties still must be paid to the Customs Authority upon importation.

Non-registered enterprises and private individuals will still have to pay import VAT to the Customs Authority upon importation.

3) How to post import VAT?
The accounts shall specify the basis of import VAT per VAT rate (the VAT return boxes 9 and 10). In addition, the basis of imports that do not attract import VAT shall also be reported in the new VAT return (box 11).

The basis is not an accounting expense, but can be entered in the accounts with a blind account per VAT rate or with a VAT code per VAT rate. There is an obligation that the transactions must be specified in the accounts in such a way that they can be linked to the boxes in the new VAT return.

4) How to calculate import VAT?

5) What do we know about the online declaration list?
The online declaration list will be made available for all VAT-registered importers per month at the website www.altinn.no. This list will contain an overview of all customs declarations. The list will be available both in a PDF format and as an XML file. The XML file can be imported to Excel or other spreadsheets. The list will show shipping and serial number, statistic value and any customs duties or excise duties per customs declaration. The amount will show as a total per declaration.

6) Temporary imports
The import must be reported in the new VAT return box 11. No VAT shall be calculated. However, if the goods are not re-exported by the relevant deadline (12 months), the VAT return must be corrected. VAT-registered importers do anymore not have to provide guarantees/deposits to the Customs Authority in connection with temporary imports, except from goods that attract customs duty and/or excise duties.

 7) Documentation of import VAT
The main documentation will be the customs declarations and the sub-enclosures, such as freight documents, invoices, licences etc. It is mandatory to document both the calculated basis of the import VAT and the VAT amount itself. This documentation must show the basis and VAT amount per VAT rate for each customs declaration.

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