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Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Government and institution measures in response to COVID-19.

Return to homepage  |  Last updated: 14 May, 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…)

Lower threshold to temporary lay off employees.

  • A reduction in the employer payment period of 14 days notification period + 15 days of payment period to 2 days notification period and 2 days payment period. Thereafter the government will take over the salary payment obligation for a period of 18 additional days calculated up to a limited salary of Nok599 148. After this period, the government will cover 62,4% of the salary, maximum amount approximately NOK 426 000 (approx. 70% of salary).
  • Illness due to virus infection: the employer obligation is to pay salary the first 16 days of sick leave. Under the new situation, provided that illness is connected with the virus, the employer period of payment obligation is reduced to 3 days with full salary.
  • No medical certification is required if the employee is ill due to virus infection for the first 16 days. In fact, employees are encouraged not to seek doctor certification if symptoms are Covid-19 related.
  • Reduction in employers social security contribution obligation with 4 percent for two months, from originally 14.1% (please not that some areas in Norway have reduced rate and it is uncertain if the same reduction applies). Payment  deadline for employers social security for the months March and April is extended to 15. August 2020. Employers who submit salaries beyond the notice period will not receive refund for layoffs effected as of 20 April 2020. The employer and the employee may enter into a loan agreement where the employer covers salary for the 18 days period and is reimbursed from the employee when the employee receives benefits from NAV. This should be agreed in writing.

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, April and May and the payouts will be made on monthly basis.
  • 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)
  • As a result of the outbreak of corona, a temporary customs regulation has been adopted today. New regulations apply to business operators who use direct driving. The deadline for submitting a completed declaration is extended from 10 to 30 days (Effective 20.03.20)

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 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 –
Legal: Per Ivar Skinstad –