When I purchase products from abroad, it is usually because these products are unavailable from any Norwegian sources. In a few isolated cases, it is to save money. This situation is about to change, and I may have to purchase larger quantities from abroad.
At the moment it is possible to purchase goods outside of Norway and to import them duty and value tax free, if their value (including postage) is less than NOK 350 (USD 43). If the value is over NOK 350, but under NOK 3000, then 25% Value Added Tax is added, in addition to the NOK 146 (USD 18) customs fee.
Proposed changes would eliminate duty and value tax free import of goods. Everything imported would be subject to customs fees and value added tax.
An example. I have recently been looking at purchasing an “In Wall AC/DC PCB (with Relay) for MySensors”. On eBay, the price is about NOK 40 (USD 5) each. I would probably purchase just one, for experimental and testing purposes. My total cost would be about NOK 40 for this first product. If the testing shows positive results, then I would probably import ten more. If I imported them in groups of five and five, then ten of them would cost NOK 400 or USD 80.
With the proposed changes, I would have to investigate the utility of any purchase. The price of a single PCB would increase from NOK 40 to NOK 196 (USD 24). That is almost a five fold increase. While one can tolerate such an increase for a single purchase, this may make any form of experimentation much more difficult.
The price of 11 PCBs would increase from NOK 440 in two purchases, to NOK 696 in a single purchase, for an average price of over NOK 63. (USD 8).
The reason for this proposed change is to accommodate a Norwegian political party, who wants to use this change in fees to create Norwegian jobs. The result may be the opposite. If informal co-operatives are formed, that are capable of purchasing larger quantities of goods, then the results may be increased imports.
It should be noted here, that Norway is in a special situation. It is not a member of the European Customs Union. Membership here would have eliminated customs fees, but increased prices on most goods by 25%. This is a solution that could be accepted by many.