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Digital customs on importation of goods to Norway

Digital customs is a concept that supports the collection of digital information and compliance with obligations (advance notice, notification and presentation) to which commercial actors are subject. Norwegian Customs uses the information for risk assessment and target selection purposes. The concept allows for a more automated and efficient border crossing.

Norwegian Customs offers system support for the reporting of information for digital compliance with notification obligations. This solution means carriers can submit, and Norwegian Customs can receive, digital information prior to the consignment arriving at the border, such as:

  • time and place of arrival
  • the goods carried
  • the type of transport and
  • person in charge/crew.

Digital information promotes a more efficient border crossing process, because all necessary information has been submitted and processed in advance. If everything is in order, the person in charge, in case of cargo transport by road or ferry, does not have to stop for customs processing at the border. If any information is missing, or specific tasks need doing (e.g. remove customs seal, conclude EU export), the person in charge can still expect an expedited process.

From 9 November 2022, the customs offices at Ørje and Svinesund will accept digital submission of all information required for compliance with the notification obligation. The solution will soon be rolled out to all customs offices for cargo transport by road and ferry, and then to other means of transport. This will be a gradual transition for the different means of transport, and businesses will have time to adjust to the changes.

From 01/01/2023, the solution will allow digital processing for all customs procedures, not just direct transport (clearance for free circulation) and transit, as in the current solution. Declaration are handled in TVINN, or NCTS.

Users are urged to start using the solution early, so that they have enough time to gather information relevant for their own value chain, before digital notification becomes mandatory March 2025.

Laws and regulations

The notification obligation is the obligation to give notice that a means of transport is en route to or has arrived at the border, including specification of which goods it carries. The notification obligation is one of four obligations commercial entities have, in addition to advance information, declaration and presentation.

Read more about laws and regulations here. New Movement of Goods Act and Customs Duty Act | Digital customs - Norwegian Customs.

Why is digital notification implemented?

Today, Norwegian Customs normally receives information on paper about means of transport and the goods they carry. The information arrives late, and often all processing has to take place immediately, on the spot.

Digital information submitted before the means of transport arrives at the border makes it possible for customs to perform necessary risk assessments and processing before the means of transport arrives at the customs office. In the case of cargo transport by road or ferry, the person in charge will, upon arrival and based on the advance processing, receive instructions about whether they need to stop, or whether the vehicle can continue on. Goods are cleared for the chosen customs procedure upon crossing the border.

For Norwegian Customs, a digitized notification obligation will have considerable benefits in the form of a better basis for processing and more targeted control activities. In addition, it will provide a better overview of which types of goods are imported to the country and when, where, how and by whom.

From March 2025, digital notification will become mandatory.

Benefits for businesses

  • Efficient and flexible border crossings, because customs have assessed and processed relevant information prior to arrival.

  • For cargo transport by road and ferry, the person in charge normally will not have to stop and spend time inside the customs office. If they do need to stop, the person in charge can expect a more expedited process at the customs office.

  • Goods are automatically cleared for the chosen customs procedure upon crossing the border

  • Goods arrive sooner and logistics expenses are reduced

  • Ensures good framework conditions for serious enterprises and is a key measure to intercept rogue or criminal actors

  • Flow of information is entirely digital and traceable

  • Fewer manual procedures free up time

  • With better opportunities for planning, activities are better organized and efficient, which in turns reduce or eliminate errors, duplications and supplementary work.


Why is express clearance discontinued?

Digital customs replaces express clearance from 09/11/2022. Express clearance has been a pilot project for this concept at Ørje and Svinesund. The new solution is permanent and will be rolled out for all customs offices and all means of transport. There will not be any overlap between the solutions.

When is express clearance replaced by digital customs?

For those who currently use express clearance, the solution will be terminated on 04/11/2022, at 12:00. The last possible entry for all express clearance consignments will be 07/11/2022, at 07:00. On 08/11/2022 and 09/11/2022 until 12:00, all consignments will be handled manually.

From 09/11/2022 at 12:00, it will be possible to enter data in the new digital customs solution.

Who can use digital notification?

Eventually, digital notification will become mandatory for all cargo transport. System support is rolled out gradually for all means of transport. From March 2025, digital notification will become standard. Some exceptions apply, including for private individuals.

When is system support for digital notification introduced?

From 09/11/2022. Voluntary digital reporting for compliance with notification obligation at Svinesund and Ørje.

From January 2023, the service will become available for other customs offices for cargo transport by road and ferry. A more detailed roll-out plan for these customs offices will be made available at a later date.

01/10/2023. System support for digital reporting and processing of notification information for all air cargo.

30/06/2024. System support for digital reporting and processing of notification information for sea and rail cargo.

Digital customs for exports will be introduced at a later date.

How to get started

Step 1:
Your enterprise must be registered in the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities: in order to become a digital customs user. Your enterprise needs a digital business certificate, issued by the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency. Currently, Buypass and Commfides are approved issuers of such certificates. The certificate is used to authenticate the business with Norwegian Customs. We recommend that you get your IT department/system provider to help you with this. The process need only be performed once. Read more at Norwegian Customs' guide for how to get started with Maskinporten.

Step 2:
Register as a digital user with Norwegian Customs by filling out a simple user registration application.

Select whether you want to register as a digital user for ICS2 advance information and/or digital user for notification and information. The process need only be performed once.

Step 3:

Digital information is submitted via machine-to-machine integration (API)*. The business implements this – read more in the technical information. We recommend that you get your IT department/system involved in this process.

Step 4:
Test the interface and adjust internal procedures to ensure the business is able to provide the required information before the consignment arrives at the border.

Step 5:
Submit data. Submission is only possible via a machine interface (API)*; it is not available in the manual browser solution. See the technical information for instruction on who to submit the information.

Step 6:
Report errors and any questions you may have, and receive notifications and information about downtime and changes in the interface via the Norwegian Customs contact centre.

What is API?

API stands for Application Program Interface and is a type of machine interface designed for transmitting information between two computer systems. An API means that two IT systems or applications are able to exchange structured information and interact with each other. This means that you do not have to manually enter information into a system when this information is already available in other systems.

Through this interface, external applications may make changes, run processes and process data in another application. Norwegian Customs offers an API that enables automatic transfer of data from the enterprise's own system directly to Norwegian Customs' system. API simplifies the enterprise's contact with Norwegian Customs. The benefits of using an API include:

  • enterprises are able to reduce the number of manual steps and operations required in their interaction with Norwegian Customs

  • enterprises are able to fully automate the submission and management of information on goods and consignments

  • enterprises are able to enter information in many small steps or submit everything all at once

How to set up API integration

See the technical information for instruction on who to submit the information.

What to submit

One notice for each transport and one notice for each consignment. The transport notice must include keys for the consignments. Consignments are linked to the transport using the same keys. Notices may be submitted by different parties and in a random order.

When to submit information

Digital information must be submitted before or at crossing the border in order to comply with the notification obligation.

Customs would prefer to get digital information about the goods and the transport as early as possible. Norwegian Customs may process declarations up to five days before border crossing. Submitting information in good time before crossing the border provides customs with ample opportunity to assess the information to ensure it can be processed in time to facilitate for efficient entry into the customs territory.

For persons in charge of arriving at Svinesund or Ørje

What will be new at both Ørje and Svinesund is that the barrier will be removed from 09/11/2022. If you get a red light, you must stop and report to the customs office – get a "digitoll" ticket and identify yourself using the vehicle's registration number in stead of the MNR (Master Reference Number).

As the person in charge, you must report to the customs office:

  • If you get a red light.

  • If you are selected for manual processing by a customs officer.

  • If you need to correct incorrect information.

  • If the person in charge or a passenger is bringing personal goods to declare.

What happens when you use digital notification?

Once the information has been submitted, it will be processed and risk assessed by Norwegian Customs before the transport arrives at the border. Each transport is assigned an internal status (visible only to the customs officer).

  • Once the vehicle arrives at the customs site, the vehicle's registration plates are read by an ANPR camera. These cameras record the vehicle's registration number and time of arrival.

  • Follow the signs marked "Digitoll" (new signs will be in place by 09/11).

  • Traffic lights indicate to the driver whether they can proceeed or whether they must stop.

  • Green light: person in charge may proceed through customs site without stopping.

  • Red light: person in charge must pull the vehicle over in the red zone and report to the customs office.

  • When the vehicle leaves the customs area, its registration plates will be read again by an ANPR camera. The exit time will be registered, and the goods are automatically cleared for the customs procedure selected.

For persons in charge: How to navigate at the Ørje customs site

Grensepasseringsløsning på Ørje

Green light: drive through the customs site – do not stop.  Red light: park in the red zone and go to the customs office.

For persons in charge: How to navigate the customs site

at Svinesund

See the illustration below for how to navigate for red light/green light at Svinesund:

Privacy and Norwegian Customs

See more on Norwegian customs and privacy here