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Trade Profile

In this page: Foreign Trade in Figures | Trade Compliance | Standards


Foreign Trade in Figures

Norway has a very open economy, trade representing 67% of GDP (2017 - World Bank).

Traditionally, the country exports energy-intensive products and imports high-technology items. The country is the third largest exporter of oil, the biggest natural gas supplier of Western Europe, and the second seafood supplier in the world. Overall, Norway ranks among the 25 biggest global exporters (excluding inter-EU trade). Industrial products (ships, oil platforms, etc.) constitute close to 10% of total exports. Norway mainly imports manufactured items (machinery, transporters, information technology), which account for 40% of all imports. The country's main trade partners are the European Union nations.

Norway’s trade surplus is considerable. However, the trade surplus has been declining in recent years, due to the reduction in the exports of gas and industrial products as well as the fall of oil prices. After hitting a 17-year low in 2016, with a surplus of NOK 140.4 billion, the Norwegian trade balance progressed in 2017 as exports grew at a slightly faster rate than imports and oil and gas priced started to recover. Exports grew by 12.2% compared to 2016, and imports by 12.1%, resulting in a surplus of NOK 159.9 billion (12.7% y-o-y increase). Without hydrocarbons, the trade balance is in deficit (which grew further by 19.6% to NOK 242.9 billion in 2017) (Statistics Norway).

Foreign Trade Indicators 20122013201420152016
Imports of Goods (million USD) 87,30889,80889,18576,22872,335
Exports of Goods (million USD) 160,953156,022144,591105,37288,963
Imports of Services (million USD) 52,32856,21056,05245,75847,092
Exports of Services (million USD) 46,37248,57549,30540,29036,404
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 1.6-
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 27.528.429.832.133.3
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 40.639.138.837.734.1
Trade Balance (million USD) 72,02663,70452,62027,48613,947
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 66,09455,98544,43521,8643,160
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 68.167.568.669.867.4

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) - 2017; World Bank - 2017


Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
United Kingdom 21.1%
Germany 15.5%
Netherlands 9.9%
Sweden 6.6%
France 6.4%
Belgium 4.8%
Denmark 4.7%
United States 4.6%
Spain 2.3%
Poland 2.2%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
Sweden 11.5%
Germany 11.1%
China 9.8%
United States 6.8%
South Korea 6.8%
Denmark 5.4%
United Kingdom 4.8%
Netherlands 3.9%
Poland 3.4%
Italy 3.1%

Source: Comtrade, 2017


Main Products

102.0 bn USD of products exported in 2017
Petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons 26.0%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 25.4%
Fish, fresh or chilled (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 6.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 5.1%
Unwrought aluminium 3.0%
Fish fillets and other fish meat, whether or not minced, fresh, chilled or frozen 1.8%
Frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 1.4%
Cruise ships, excursion boats, ferry-boats, cargo ships, barges and similar vessels for the transport of persons or goods 1.1%
Carboxyamide-function compounds; amide-function compounds of carbonic acid 0.9%
Unwrought nickel 0.9%
85.5 bn USD of products imported in 2017
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 7.4%
Structures and parts of structures e.g., bridges and bridge-sections, lock-gates, towers, lattice masts, roofs, roofing frameworks, doors and windows and their frames and thresholds for doors, shutters, balustrades, pillars and columns, of iron or steel; plates, rods, angles, shapes, sections, tubes and the like, prepared for use in structures, of iron or steel (excl. prefabricated buildings of heading 9406) 5.2%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 2.8%
Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy, radio-broadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras and other video camera recorders; digital cameras 2.1%
Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 2.0%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 1.9%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 1.6%
Cruise ships, excursion boats, ferry-boats, cargo ships, barges and similar vessels for the transport of persons or goods 1.6%
Light-vessels, fire-floats, dredgers, floating cranes, and other vessels the navigability of which is subsidiary to their main function; floating docks, floating or submersible drilling or production platforms (excl. fishing vessels and warships) 1.6%
Nickel mattes, nickel oxide sinters and other intermediate products of nickel metallurgy : 1.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2017


Main Services

95.1 bn USD of services exported in 2014
Other business services
Financial services
Computer and information services
Communications services
Royalties and license fees
Insurance services
Construction services
Cultural and recreational services
Government services
108.5 bn USD of services imported in 2014
Other business services
Computer and information services
Cultural and recreational services
Communications services
Construction services
Royalties and license fees
Financial services
Insurance services
Government services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data


Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Norwegian Krone (NOK)
Exchange Rate Regime
Floating exchange regime.
Level of Currency Instability
High. The krone’s volatility is due to changes in oil prices and interest rates.
Monetary Indicators 20132014201520162017
Norwegian Krone (NOK) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 5.886.308.068.408.27

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2007
Main International Economic Cooperation
Norway is a Member of the EEA (European Economic Area) and applies the whole EU acquis except for agriculture and fisheries. Norway seeks to conclude bilateral trade agreements in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) framework.
Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Look Up the Other Member Countries And Read the Web Pages of the World Customs Organization Devoted to the ATA Carnet.
Party of the TIR Convention

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
The UNCTAD Website Allows You to Read the TIR Convention, See the List of Member Countries And to Find Further Information.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
Commercial invoice and a bill of lading or an airway bill are required as general import documentation. A certificate of origin is not required unless specified. Certificates are required for the importation of live animals, animal products, plants, fresh fruits, vegetables and other plant materials. .
Free Zones
No free zones. Special provisions and minimal taxation in the Svalbard archipelago.
For Further Information
Customs and Excise Service
Ministry of Trade and Industry
Non Tariff Barriers
Norway is a member of the European Economic Area and applies the European Union trade policy rules, except for agriculture and fisheries. Norway does not have many import restrictions, except for agricultural sector, which remains highly protected with high tariffs, quantitative restrictions and technical barriers. Goods containing animal products require a certificate from the competent authority in the country of origin. A sanitary or health certificate is required for animal products, live animals and plants. For most vegetables, fruit and plant material a phytosanitary certificate is required. Fishery products need to show a catch certificate.

A number of products require an import license, for example clothes and textiles. Genetically modified products and biotech products face more restrictive legislation than in EU countries.

Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Norway has been complainant in two cases concerning salmon and in one case concerning steel. Cases DS328, DS337, DS254, respectively.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
The WTO pages devoted to Norway
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the United States

Learn more about How to Export to Norway on, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.



National Standards Organisations
Standards Norway
The Norwegian Post and Telecommunication Authority
Integration in the International Standards Network
Standards Norway participates in the International Standardization Organization (ISO) and the European Committee for Standardization(CEN). The Norwegian Electrotechnical Committee is a member of the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority participates in the International Telecommunication Union and the European Telecommunication Standard Institute (ETSI)
Obligation to Use Standards
Standards and certifications processes are as developed by the ETSI, CEN and the CENELEC.
Classification of Standards
A CE mark is obligatory.
Assessment of the System of Standardization
Consumers are becoming more informed about standards and regulation and pay more attention to them. Norway follows EU regulation on standards. In accordance with this legal framework, manufactures must fulfill EU conformity assessment conditions. For more information see the website of EU Hamonised Standards. For Electronic standards see the Norwegian Electro technical Committee and the Norwegian Post and Telecommunication Authority.
Online Consultation of Standards
Norsk Standard is the sales company owned by Standards Norway

Information is available on the European Telecommunication Standard Institute (ETSI), the European Committee for Standardization and the European Committee for Electrotecnical Standardization's websites.

Certification Organisations
Norwegian Accreditation
European Accreditation
Associations of Standards Users
Stanfo - Forside


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Last Updates: May 2018