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TL;DR: Can I bring food for personal use to Norway without having to declare it at customs?

I will be going on a 14-day hiking trip to Norway on which I will bring most of the food myself.

All the rules I could find mention a 10kg maximum for all foods and the requirement for animal products to originate from inside the EEA.

But now I found the page on "Importing foodstuffs" which says:

If you intend to import food and drink (foodstuffs) from abroad, you must always pay VAT. Some goods are also subject to customs duty and special taxes. Remember to always register as an importer of foodstuffs with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.

Which continues on explaining how much it cost and giving example calculations. Do those importing cost only occur if I want to commercially import the food or also when I import them for personal use?

  • All the food will be in my check-in luggage
  • The food will be less than 10kg (~8.5kg)
  • I will not have any potatoes
  • All the food will be from inside the EEA
  • I plan to label all the food in English and Norwegian with the weight because a massive 1 kg zip-lock bag of white powder (milk powder) can look suspicious and I want to save the customs officers the hassle of weighing all my stuff if they happen to inspect my luggage.
  • If customs suspects you of importing anything illegal, they won't trust anything you write on it. so it is more or less irrelevant to put the weight on things. – Henrik Jul 19 at 8:13
  • @Henrik The labels help identifying the contents as a customs officer probably assumes that someone doesn't carry a kilogram of cocaine in his luggage but still wonders what it might be. And considering that milk-powder is common baby food I assume there won't be any problem with it. It's simple to make the work of the customs officers easier. And the weights show that I did my research and am aware of the limit. They can still test and weigh everything if they want to but inside of the EU there aren't a lot of suspicions against travelers. – GittingGud Jul 19 at 8:20
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    Anecdotally, I've taken food for a hiking trip into Norway probably a dozen times and the thought to declare anything never even crossed my mind. The one time I did get checked I was driving a Swedish rental car, the officer was surprised I was not bringing any alcohol at all, but did fine me for not having car registration papers. – gerrit Jul 19 at 8:43
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There are different rules depending on wether you bring the food with you when travelling to Norway or if you are already present in Norway and have food shipped from abroad. In the first case, you can with the exceptions you have already found (no potatoes, no animal products from outside the EEA), bring up to 10kg food without paying any duties. In the second case, there is no free allowance and you have to pay VAT and potentially other duties based on the total purchase price. It is not really clear from the text, but the web page you are linking to in the question obviously applies to the second case, importing and having food shipped to you in Norway.

As Henrik already mentioned in his comment, I don't see any reason why you should put much effort into labelling zip lock bags. If you want to simplify any potential customs check, you should rather leave all food in its original packaging. If they actually suspect that you are trying to smuggle cocaine, they won't be satisfied with your hand written 'milk powder' label on the bag.

Also remember that it is possible to buy food in Norway. Depending on exactly what you want, prices are not necessarily much higher than abroad either.

  • Thank you for the explanation this seams to be the answer but I will wait 24hours before accepting to give others a change. The food I will bring will mostly be (selfmade) pre-prepared meals for cooking while camping/hiking so there won't be any original packaging but thanks for the recommendation. – GittingGud Jul 19 at 8:45
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    When I travel to Norway, I bring my food not because of prices but because finding milk powder or dried papaya may not be easy in, say, Fauske. Melkesjokolade however I buy locally :) – gerrit Jul 19 at 8:45
  • @Fauske That's my thought aswell, there will only be one shop near the planned hiking route in all of the 14days so buying stuff might be a bit of a hassle. – GittingGud Jul 19 at 8:47

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