Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals is allowed to import if they are intended for personal use, are to be taken orally and are not being marketed as a medical product. Importing vitamins which must be taken by injection is not permitted. In order to import vitamins for resale as dietary supplements, you must contact the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
Private individuals are not permitted to import poisonous herbs, herbs which contain narcotic substances or herbs with powerful effects. There is no comprehensive list of such herbs, but here is a selection of herbs which may be stopped in consignments from abroad because they pose a danger to health. If a substance is not included in this list, you must assess its safety and legality yourself.
Dietary supplements containing vitamins, minerals and herbs can generally be imported for personal use (see above). However, foreign online stores may offer "dietary supplements" which also contain medicinal substances. Such products may be illegal to import, and they may also be harmful to use. There are many unprofessional companies selling health products. At helsenorge.no, you will find tips regarding what you should consider before placing an order.
See the information from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority regarding dietary supplements and health products at
Substances which are considered to be medicinal
If a substance is found in a preparation that is marketed as a medicine in Norway or another country, it will as a general rule be regarded as a medicine and stopped at customs control.
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:
- alpha lipoic acid
- omega-3 fatty acids
- 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.
Additions - substances which will be stopped
Selective androgene receptor modulators (SARMs):
This is a group of substances that binds to androgen receptors in different tissues in the body, and stimulates the activation of various anabolic effects. SARMs are not allowed for private imports by post. Examples of such substances include ostarine (MK-2866), ibutamore (MK-677), ligandrol (LGD-4033).
Nootropics is a collective term for substances that can lead to improved cognitive function. Many of the drugs are sold on the internet as "smart drugs" with the intention of increasing concentration and improve learning ability. Many of these substances are not allowed for private imports by post. Examples of such substances include atomoxetine, piracetam, aniracetam, modafinil and more.
Does the website claim that the product counteracts a medical problem or has a strong effect on your body? This may be an indication that the product is medicinal or that it contains pharmaceutical substances which are not declared on the package. Such products may be stopped by Norwegian Customs.
The private importing of electronic cigarettes for personal medicinal use is only permitted from EU/EEA countries, not from the USA, for example. Norwegian Customs may request proof that these requirements are met, e.g. in the form of a prescription or medical declaration. Upon import, the quantity must not exceed three months' use. Read more about the regulations concerning e-cigarettes (information in norwegian).
CBD is one of many substances to be found in the cannabis plant and has little or no intoxicating effect. 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. You must speak to your doctor if you have any questions regarding the medicinal use of CBD. 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.
There are many products available online which contain CBD but which are not intended for the treatment of diseases (e.g. soaps and skin creams). But on the other hand, CBD products often contain residues of the narcotic substance THC (tetrahydrocannobinol) even though the list of contents claims that the product is free from THC. The presence of THC means that the product will be considered to be a narcotic and may therefore not be imported privately.
The regulations applicable to homeopathic medicines are currently subject to review. Until further notice, the Norwegian Medicines Agency has decided to allow private importation of homeopathic medicines (except for injections) if they originate from an EU/EEA country.
Read more about homeopathic medicines (information in norwegian).
Medicinal products for veterinary use
It is not permitted to privately import medicinal products for veterinary use, either by post or by bringing them with you into the country. Speak to a veterinary surgeon if your animal is in need of medical treatment. Read more about importing medicinal products for veterinary use (information in norwegian).
The Norwegian Medicines Agency cannot carry out an advance assessment of whether or not a product is likely to be stopped by Norwegian Customs - why is that?
The Norwegian Medicines Agency approves medicinal products which are to be sold in Norway and monitors both ordinary and online pharmacies. This ensures that medicinal products that are sold in Norway are effective, safe and of good quality. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has a corresponding responsibility regarding dietary supplements.
There are thousands of health products for sale on foreign websites, and it is often difficult to obtain accurate information concerning the substances that these products actually contain. The Norwegian authorities do not have the resources to help private individuals to assess these products. The authorities in Norway give priority to ensuring that products that are sold in Norway are safe to use.