Norway - Pricing
Tax is levied on all alcoholic beverages containing more than 0.7 percent by volume of alcohol that are either imported into Norway or produced in Norway. Tax is also levied on beverage packaging.
In May 2018 Government proposed to reduce alcohol tax on beer with an alcohol content of 3.7 to 4.7% by volume, with a turnover of up to 200,000 liters of beer. The purpose is to improve the conditions for the small breweries.
The Norwegian Directorate of Health on the other hand proposed in August 2018 ten suggestions to improve the health of Norwegians and one of these proposals was to increase alcohol price through tax increase.
Source: The Norwegian Tax Administration
Tax levels are a balancing act between the need to protect public health and to increase revenue on the one hand and the need to limit cross-border shopping and taxfree sales on the other.
Norway is influenced by alcohol prices in neighbouring countries, and particularly in periods with favourable currency exchange rates. Changes in exchange rates affect all product categories and therefore makes it more or less profitable to buy goods – including alcohol – on the other side of the border. The border between Norway and Sweden is 1,640 km long, with almost 80 crossing points between the two countries. Increases in cross border shopping and particularly taxfree sales will put further pressure on Norwegian pricing policies.
Recently the Conservative party proposed a reduction in taxes on beer. The purpose of this tax reduction is to shift consumption from high-alcohol beverages to lower-alcohol beverages. It is also intended to help small, local producers and breweries. The size of the reduction and the effects of changes in the taxation system remain to be seen.
According to the cost of living aggregator Numbeo (March 2018), which keeps track of the prices of various consumer goods in major cities around the world, Oslo is the most expensive city in Europe to buy the standard size of a "large beer" (0,5 litres). The average price for a large domestic beer in Oslo is 8,38 EUR. In the global ranking of beer prices, Norway and Iceland come in third and fourth place, respectively, as the top two spots are occupied by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. A large beer in Qatar costs 8,91 EUR, and 8,83 EUR.