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Norway

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Return to homepage  |  Last updated: 30 September, 2020

Tax measures – Direct and Indirect

(e.g. payment deferrals, rate reductions…)

Click here to see a comprehensive summary of jurisdictional tax measures and government reliefs in response to COVID-19.

Employment-related measures

(e.g. state compensation schemes, training…)

Reduced financial liability for employers with laid off employees, and increased compensation to temporarily laid off employees.

  • The government introduced in March 2020 legislation to reduce the mandatory employer payment period from 15 to 2 days. The mandatory payment period was however increased again from 2 to 10 days, effective from 1 September 2020.
  • After this 10 day period, temporarily laid off employees  that are members of Norwegian social security may be entitled to a daily unemployment benefit, upon application to the Norwegian Labour and Welfare organization (NAV).
  • The previously introduced wage compensation scheme following temporary layoff ended effective from 1 September 2020.

Reduced employer financial liability for COVID-19 related sick leave.

  • The employer is normally liable to pay the employee’s sick leave benefit for the first 16 days of sick leave. The Government have introduced legislation to reduce the employer period during sick leave to 3 days, provided that illness is connected with COVID-19 (e.g. mandatory quarantine, infection etc.). The employer shall still pay the employee for the 16 day refund, and thereafter apply for refund from NAV for the 13 days.

Economic stimulus measures

(e.g. loans, moratorium on debt repayments…)

The government will establish two state-backed loan and guarantee schemes in the total amount of NOK 100 billion (approximately U.S. $10 billion) in an effort to provide liquidity for Norwegian enterprises.

State loan guarantees for new loans to small and medium-sized enterprises

  • The government has proposed to establish a state guarantee targeted at bank loans to small and medium-sized enterprises suffering losses as a result of the extraordinary situation arising from the spread of the corona virus. The initial package of NOK 50 billion will be increased if needed. 

Government Bond Fund

  • The Government has further proposed to reinstate the Government Bond Fund. This will contribute to increased liquidity and access to capital in the Norwegian bond market, where larger companies typically raise their funding.
  • "The Government Bond Fund will provide up to NOK 50 billion, to be invested in bonds issued by Norwegian companies. This is a measure we have positive experience with from the 2008 financial crisis", says the Minister of Finance.
  • The fund will be managed by Folketrygdfondet, which is the state’s fund manager for the Government Pension Fund Norway.

The government has created a scheme that entails that the state covers a proportion of the fixed costs for companies that have a significant decrease in turnover due to the outbreak of viruses and infection control measures

  • The scheme will be an application-based grant scheme and the funds allocated to the scheme will be a compensation for loss of revenue due to COVID-19 situation.
  • In order to qualify, the applicant must evidence a shortfall in turnover for March of at least 20 percent. For April and May it is required to evidence a shortfall of at least 30 percent.
  • The grant will as a maximum amount to 90 percent of the unavoidable fixed costs for businesses that have been closed down due to a government resolutions, and 80 percent for other businesses.
  • The scheme will be in effect for March to August, and the payouts will be made on monthly basis. The scheme has been terminated post August, though deadline for application is 31 October.
  • Entities must apply for the grant for one month at a time and successful applicants may receive compensation of up to NOK 80 million per month. 

Customs Measures

Customs clearance

  • The Customs Authorities states that freight transport is operating as normal and no limits have been closed for this. It is stated that all transport of goods, imports and exports, which does not involve the carriage of passengers, shall be as normal on road, train, ship and aircraft. Airports, ports and border crossings are kept open for such traffic. (Effective 15.03.20)

Duty relief

  • Import of emergency consignments. (Effective 27.03.20)
  • Import of emergency consignments with contamination equipment and other medical supplies in connection with the corona eruption is permitted without collection of customs duties and import VAT. (Effective 27.03.20)

Export restriction

  • Requirement for permission to export personal infection control equipment. Norway has adopted the same requirements as the EU. Export permit requirements do not apply to exports to the EU and EFTA countries. From today, an export permit from the Directorate of Health is required to export personal contamination equipment. The ban is limited to mouthwashes, goggles, disposable gloves and protective suits. It is allowed to export without authorization to the EU (including the United Kingdom) and the EFTA countries, as well as the Faroe Islands, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican City. The export permit requirement applies until further notice.

Health certificate

  • Exemptions for plant health certificate for certain fruits and berries. For a period, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority may grant an exemption. On application, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority may grant exemption for plant health certificate upon importation of certain fruits and berries. If you have been granted an exemption, please state this in section 44 of the Customs declaration by quoting the code ""P2"" and the reference to the decision. Effective (31.03.20)

Proof of origin

  • Certificate of movement EUR. 1 can be sent to Tvo.Oslo@toll.no for stamping The Customs Agency recommends exporters / forwarders not to come to our dispatches to get stamped goods certificates EUR 1 during these Corona times. Exporters / freight forwarders are advised to use the declaration of origin (invoice declaration) to the greatest extent possible Effective (31.03.20)

Other measures and sources

Measure to ease the lockdown

  • Most bars, restaurants and other establishments serving food and drink will remain closed, except those that serve food, are able to ensure that a distance of at least two metres is maintained between customers and personnel, and can meet basic infection control requirements. Sports activities may be resumed if it is possible to follow the recommendations of the Norwegian Directorate of Health on social distancing and group size. The ban on sports, cultural and other events that do not meet basic infection control requirements will apply until 15 June.

Main sources of information

  • Norwegian Customs Authorities

Contact us

Tax: Anders H. Liland – anders.liland@kpmg.no
Legal: Per Ivar Skinstad – per.skinstad@kpmg.no