​​Importing medicinal products by post is prohibited.

Both non-prescription (over-the-counter) and prescription medicinal products may be stopped. Even if you have been given a prescription by a Norwegian doctor, it does not entitle you to purchase a corresponding medicine from abroad. Remember that a product may be considered medicinal in Norway even if it is not considered to be one in the country from which the product is being imported. Illegally imported medicines may be confiscated and destroyed by Norwegian Customs.

Regulations: Section 3-2 of the Regulation on manufacture and import of medicinal products.

Approved Norwegian online pharmacies

There are approved Norwegian online pharmacies which send both non-prescription and prescription medicines by post.

Criminal liability

In the case of illegal imports, you may be reported to the police (depending on the severity of the offence). You may be reported for a breach of the Medicinal Products Act, Section 31, or the Penal Code, Section 231 and 232 (narcotic substances) or Section 234 and 235 (doping agents).

No compensation

Anyone who imports products has a responsibility to be aware of the regulations applicable to the import of goods and services and can therefore not expect to get any money back if Norwegian Customs stop an illegally imported product.

Be careful about what you order online.

Many products which are available from foreign websites are advertised as dietary supplements or cosmetics. You should be aware that the Norwegian authorities have not necessarily assessed whether such products are safe to use. If you order such products, you bear much of the risk associated with their import and use.

Many foreign online pharmacies operate illegally. There is a considerable risk that the medicines that they sell are counterfeit and do not contain what is stated on the packaging. The doses may be either too low, with the desired effect not achieved, or too high, with the resultant risk of severe side effects.

Read more about the dangers of buying medicines online at helsenorge.no.

What may be stopped by Norwegian Cu​stoms?​

Importing medicinal products for personal use is not allowed. However, the boundary between medicinal products and other products can be hard to understand.
The following section presents some guidelines and advice for assessing whether a product is allowed to import.

​​​​Vitamins and Minerals

Customs do not stop vitamins and minerals if they are for personal use, are for oral consumption and are not marketed to treat illness.
Private importation of vitamins for injection is not allowed.
For import of vitamins for resale, please contact the Norwegian food authority (Mattilsynet).

​Herbs

Private individuals are not permitted to import poisonous herbs, herbs containing narcotic substances or herbs with strong effects or health risks. There is no comprehensive list of such herbs, but below is a list of herbs that are not allowed for import, based on the criteria cited above.

 

If a herb or product is not included in this list, you must assess its safety and legality yourself by reading the classification criteria or sending an email to privatimport@legemiddelverket.no.  

Products marketed as "herbal medicine" or "traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) are considered medical products, based on the marketing of the products. 

 

For questions about food supplements, please contact Mattilsynet. 

List of poisonous herbs, herbs with narcotic substances, strong effects or otherwise not allowed to import:

(Updated 07.12.2020)

Latin name/ Scientific nameNorwegian nameEnglish names/other names

Absinth/

Artemisia absinthium

Malurt
 

Acacia rigidula/

Acacia Vachella/

Acacia Berlandieri/

Acacia Senegalia

 

 

 

Senegalia berlandieri

Achyrantes bidentata

​Ox knee, niu xi
Aconitum napellusVenusvogn, StorhjelmAconite, Monkshood
Aconitum septentrionaleTyrihjelmScandinavian Monkshood
Aconitum-speciesAkonitum-arterAconite
Acorus Calamus

Kalmusrot/mjølkerot

Sweet flag
Adenia-species  
Adonis vernalisVåradonisPheasant's eye
Adonis-species  
Amanita muscariaFluesoppFly agaric
Ammi visnagaTannstikkeToothpick-plant, Khella

Anacyclus pyrethrum

synonym Anthemis pyrethrum.

Pyrethrumrot, BertamSpanish chamomile, Pellitory
Anadenanther-species Yopo
Anagallis arvensisNonsblomScarlet pimpernel
Anamirta cocculus Levant Berry
Annona muricata
Aphanizomenon flos-aquaeAFA-algeBlue-Green Algae
Areca catechu/semenBetelnøtt, ArekanøttBetel nut
Argyreia Nervosa/ Argyeria Speciosa Elephant creeper, hawaiian baby woodrose, wolly morning glory
Aristolochia speciesHolurt arter 
Artemisia cina Santonica, Levant wormseed
Asarum europaeumHasselurtHazelwort, Wild ginger, Asarabacca
Atropa belladonnaBelladonnaurt 
​Azadirachta indica
​Neem

Banisteriopsis caapi

  
Banisteriopsis muricata
Baptisia tinctoriaVill indigoYellow false indigo, Horseflyweed
Bryonia albaSvartgallbærWhite bryony, Wild hop
Buxus sempervirensBuksbomBoxwood
Caladium seguinum (Dieffenbachia seguine) Dumbcane

 Calea Zacatechichi

 Drømmeurt

 
Catharanthus-species  
Cephaelis ipecacuanha (Uragoga ipecacuanha)

 Brekkrot, Ipekakuanha

 

Brazil Root, Ipecac Syrup

Chinae cortex

(se Cinchonae cortex)

 Cinchona
Cinae flosOrmefrø, Cina, Artemisia cina
Levant wormwood, Chamomile–leaved artemisia
Claviceps purpureaMeldrøye, SekaleErgot/ Ergot of rye, St. Antony's fire
Clematis vitalbaKlematis, tyskTraveler's Joy, Old Man's Beard

Colchicum autumnale/ Speciosum/ vernum

TidløsAutumn Crocus, Wild Saffron
Conium maculatumSkarntyde, GiftkjeksHemlock
Consolida regalis RiddersporeDelphinium
Convallaria majalisLiljekonvallLily-of-the-Valley

Convolvulus-species

Convolvulus arvensis

Åkervindel Field bindweed
Cynoglossum officinaleHundetungeHound's Tongue
Cytisus scoparius GyvelScotch broom
Datura-speciesPiggeple, StramoniumJimson weed, Devil's snare
Digitalis purpurea og lanataRevebjelle, DigitalisFoxglove
Dryopteris filix-masOrmetelgMale fern
Embelia-species  
Euphorbia cyparissiasVortemelk, sypressCypress spurge
Euphorbia resinifera Resin spurge
Filicis rhizomaBregnerot 
Fritillaria meleagrisRuteliljeSnake's head
Fritillaria verticillata  
Galega officinalis GeitvikkeGoat's Rue
Gelsemium sempervirens,Jasmin, gulFalse Jasmine
Gelsemium-species  

Glecoma  hederacea

Nepeta Glecoma /Hederacea

 KorsknappGround ivy, the aerial parts of Glechoma hederacea
Gynura divaricata  
Helleborus nigerNyserot, sortBlack Hellebore
Hyoscyamus nigerVillrot, BulmeurtHenbane, Stinking nightshade
Hypericum perforatumJohannesurt, Prikkperikum 
Ipecacuanhae radixBrekkrot, Ipekakuanharot

Ipecac

Ipomoea hederacea

 Mexican Scammony Root
Ipomoea reptansMorning Glory 
Ipomoea-species  
Juniperus sabinaSevenbom, SabinaSavin Tops
Lobelia-species  

Lophophora Williamsii

 Peyotekaktus 
Ma HuangEphedra arter 
Mallotus philippinensisKamalatre 

Mandragora officinarum,

Mandragora vernalis

Satans epleAlrune Mandragora, (European) Mandrake
Melia azadirachta fructusKinabær fra nimtre/ Nimtre

Chinaberry tree, Neem friut, Neem Tree, Pride of China

Menispermum canadense Moonseed = Tinospora Cordifolia

Mimosa hostilis/ tenuiflora

 
 

Mitragyna/Nauclea speciosa

Kratom
Mitragynine
Nerium oleanderOleander 
Nucis vomicae semenRevekake, Nux vomica 
Nymphaea Caerula

 Blå lotus

Sacred blue lilly, Blue lotus

Panaeolus speciesPanaeolus arter 
Pausinystalia yohimbeJohimbeYohimbe, Yohimbin
Physostigma venenosumKalabarbønneCalabar Bean
Phytolacca americana, Phytolacca decandraPoke, KermesbærPokeweed
Pilocarpus-species Pilocarpus-arterJaborandi (=Pilocarpus microphyllus)
Piper methysticumKawa-Kawa, Kava 
Podophyllum hexandrumAmerikansk Podofyllum Podophyllum, Mandrake
Podophyllum-species  
Polygonatum officinale (= odoratum)KantkonvallSolomon's seal
Polygonatum-species 
 
Polygonum multiflora

Psychotria Viridis

 Chacruna
Rauvolfia serpentina Indian Snakeroot
Rauwolfia Serpentine, Snakewood
Rauvolfia Vomitoria 

 African Snakeroot, Serpent Wood

Rauvolfia-species  
Rhododendron ferrugineum  Rusty-leaved   Rhododendron
Rhododendron-speciesAlperose-arter 

Rhus toxicodendron (alsoToxicodendron vernix)

Toxicodendron radicans, synonym Rhus radicans

 Poison Ivy

Ricinus communis semen,

Ricinus sanguines

RicinusfrøCastor bean
Sabadillae semen/ Schoenocaulon OfficinaleSabadillefrø/Sabadille 
Salvia divinorum Sage of the diviners
Sanguinaria canadensisBlodrotBloodroot
Sassafras albidum (= officinale)Sassafras 
Scilla maritimaStrandløk(Sea) squill, Squilla
​Sceletium tortuosum
​Kanna
Scutellaria lateriflora  Skullcap
Senecio jacobaeaLandøydaTansy ragwort
Senecio vulgarisÅkersvineblomGroundsel
Senecio-speciesSvineblomslekta 
Sida cordifolia Flannel weed
Solanum dulcamaraSlyngsøtvierBittersweet nightshade
Solanum nigrumSvartsøtvierEuropean black nightshade, petty morel
Solanum paniculatumJurubeba 
Strophantus–speciesStrofantus 
Strychnos nux-vomicaStryknintre Nux Vomica
Tabernanthe ibogaSvart klaseormdrue (Iboga), RotbarkIboga
Teucrium scorodoniaFirtannWood Sage
Thuja occidentalisTujaNorthern white-cedar, Thuja
Toxicodendron vernix (Rhus toxicodendron) Poison sumac
Trichocereus peruvianus 

 Peruvian Torch

Valeriana mexicanaValeriane, meksikansk 
Valeriana wallichiiValeriane, indisk 
Veratrum albumNyserotEuropean white hellebore
Veratrum-species  
Vinca minorGravmyrtLesser periwinkle
Xanthium strumariumGrønnkrokfrøCommon cocklebur



Food supplements

​Food supplements containing only vitamins, minerals, and herbs (not on the list above) are generally allowed to be imported for private use. This only applies if the product is not marketed as a medicinal product or with medicinal claims. Many foreign websites sell "supplements" that have substances in them regarded as medicinal in Norway. These products may be illegal to import and harmful to use. There are many unserious actors selling health products. Helsenorge has a website (in Norwegian) ​with some guidelines regarding buying health products online.

​Products that are considered medicinal products

A product can be classified as medicine either by its effects (functionally medicinal) or presented with medicinal claims (medicine by presentation) and intended for human or animal use. 

If a substance found in a product, is marketed as medicine in Norway or another country, it will generally be regarded as a medicinal product, and stopped at customs. 

You can read more about what makes a product classified as medicine and read a list of what makes something a medicinal product. We also have a list of illegal herbs(above), narcotics(in Norwegian) and doping products(in Norwegian).​

Some products may be marketed as cosmetics or food supplements abroad but contain substances or make claims that make the products classified as medicines in Norway. Therefore, even if something is labelled "cosmetics" or "food supplements", it does not mean that these products are considered as such in Norway.
There are also many products sold containing "natural" plant-derived substances. Whether or not a substance is "natural" or "synthetic" does not affect the classification of the substance and the product may still be considered a pharmaceutical product. These products may therefore not be imported, as private import of medicinal products is not allowed. 
For example, products containing plant progesterone, a kind of progesterone, will still be considered medicinal products, since progesterone is a medicinal substance.

Exceptions - substances which will not be stopped

Some substances can be considered to be medicinal in one product, but not in another. Examples of such substances are:

  • ​​betaine
  • papain
  • bromelain
  • alpha lipoic acid
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • tryptophan
  • glucosamine
  • caffeine
  • melatonin (products that contain more than 1 mg/daily dose is generally medicinal in Norway)

Products containing these substances will normally not be stopped by Norwegian Customs if they are not being marketed as medicinal products.

If you have any questions about food supplements, please direct your questions to Mattilsynet, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. 

Substances that will be stopped in customs

 Many substances are not ingredients in market medicinal products, but are still powerful and therefore not allowed for private import. There is no conclusive list of these substances. If a website claims that a product can heal or alleviate a specific illness or have a significant effect on your physiology, this might point toward the product being considered a medicine. The product may therefore not be allowed to import. Examples of such substances are:

  • Phenibut
  • Kratom
  • Huperzine a
  • DMAA
  • Higenamine
  • Hordenine
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs)

SARMs are a group of substances that selectively bind to androgen receptors in different parts of the body. The binding stimulates anabolic effects. SARMs are considered medicinal products and are therefore not allowed to import. Examples of such substances are Ostarine(Mk-2866), Ligandrol (LGD-4033), RAD140(Testolone).

​Nootropics

Nootropics describe a multitude of substances meant to improve cognition. Many of these substances are marketed as "smart drugs" that improve concentration and learning. These substances are not allowed to import by post, and packages containing nootropics will be stopped by customs. This may also apply to substances marketed as nootropics that may not otherwise fit the description.
Examples of nootropic substances:
  • Atomoxetine
  • Piracetam
  • Aniracetam
  • Modafinil

As well as many others. ​

CBD(Cannabidiol)

Products derived from the cannabis plant are, regardless of THC content, considered narcotics in Norway. Therefore, these products can not be imported for personal use.

CBD is one of many substances found in the cannabis plant and has little or no intoxicating effect in itself. But, CBD products often contain residues of the narcotic substance THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), even though the list of contents claims that the product contains no THC. 
The presence of THC means that the product will be considered to be a narcotic and may therefore not be imported privately. CBD may be used in the trial treatment of certain diseases, such as epilepsy. There are currently no approved medicines containing only CBD on the Norwegian market. 
If you have any questions regarding the medicinal use of CBD you need to speak to your doctor. Your doctor can apply for exemption from the requirement for approval for such medicines, and the pharmacy will order the medicine for you. Exemption from approval does not give entitlement to private importation.

Homoeopathic medicines​

​Privately imported homoeopathic medicines (except for injectable products) will not be stopped in customs if shipped from an EU/EEA country.​

​Medical products for animals

Importing medicinal products for animals is not allowed. If your animal needs medical treatment, talk to your veterinarian. 

​Electronic cigarettes

​Private import of electronic cigarettes is only allowed from EU/EEA countries. Import is only allowed for people who want to quit smoking. You need to be able to document this by a doctor's note or prescription. Import may not exceed three months of use. 

The laws regarding electronic cigarettes are about to change and will probably be implemented in 2022. ​

We cannot carry out an advance assessment of whether or not a product is likely to be stopped by Norwegian Customs - why is that?

There are thousands of health and wellness products for sale on foreign websites. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to obtain accurate information concerning the substances these products contain. The Norwegian authorities do not have the resources to help private individuals assess these products but prioritize ensuring that products sold in Norway are safe to use. 
For information on whether or not a product is allowed to import, see the sections above. 

My package has been stopped - why?

To request an explanation of why Norwegian Customs have stopped your package, please send an e-mail with a list of:

  • the product(s) contained in the consignment
  • if possible, a link to online information about the product(s)
  • Copy of the notification letter from customs

Send your e-mail to privatimport@legemiddelverket.no. We will assess whether the package has been stopped by mistake and reply to you before the package is returned or destroyed.

If possible, you should send your email as soon as possible after getting the letter from customs (varselbrev). This gives us time to request any additional necessary information and communicate with customs and the courier. 

We may only give an opinion on the content after the package has been inspected by Norwegian Customs. This is because we must assess the actual content of the package in collaboration with Norwegian Customs.

Import permits in special cases

In some cases, the Norwegian Medicines Agency may permit imports of medicinal products for personal use if they are vital to the importer's health. For example, this could apply to people who:

  • are on holiday or staying temporarily in Norway (for example because of covid-related travel restrictions)
  • have recently arrived in Norway and are not yet registered with a doctor
  • have started treatment abroad and are being sent medicinal products which are necessary to complete the treatment

The Medicines agency cannot give import permits to medicines containing narcotic substances, or doping agents. Please do not send sensitive medical information in your email. However, we do require information about the contents of the shipment and a reason for why you feel you should get an import permit, based on the criteria listed above. 

How do I apply for an import permit?

We do not issue import permits or evaluate the content until Norwegian Customs have inspected the package. This is because we must assess the actual contents of the package in collaboration with Customs. 

If customs stop a package, the courier company will send you a notification alongside a letter (varselbrev).

Upon receiving this letter, send an email to your courier with a copy to privatimport@legemiddelverket.no. For the Norwegian postal service, this email address is postfortolling@posten.no. The courier, not customs or the medicines agency, has the package until it is destroyed or delivered. 

In the email, describe the case and supply the necessary documentation:

  • A copy of the letter you received (varselbrev)
  • A short explanation of why you are eligible for an import permit (without unnecessary personal information) 
  • Medical documentation, such as prescriptions or doctor's notes.

The courier company will register your case and forward it to NOMA for evaluation. Please make contact as early as possible in the process to avoid the destruction of your product. Because of administration and postage, the delivery of your package will be delayed while the case is being sorted out. The importer is personally responsible for any private import of medicines and any unintended side effects from using these products. NOMA only assures the quality of officially approved medicines in Norway. 

Medicinal products which are not available in Norway

The Norwegian Medicines Agency does not usually issue import permits to private individuals if the argument is that the medicinal product is not available in Norway. However, your doctor can apply for exemption from the requirement for approval for such medicines ("godkjenningsfritak"), and the pharmacy will provide you with the medicinal product. Godkjenningsfritak does not grant permission to import the medicines privately. 

​Fant du det du lette etter?