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The information below is intended to provide answers to questions that come up regularly. It is not intended as a comprehensive guide and it has limited applicability. Please read the countries introduction to ensure that it is appropriate to you. The standard documentation a UK flagged pleasure vessel operating outside UK Territorial Waters should carry is detailed on the paperwork page.

UK Government travel advice

FCDO advice including information on permitted duration of stay and visas for Norway:

Evidence of competence

For information on the validity of RYA certificates abroad see Evidence of Competence Abroad.

On boats which are not registered in Norway, the skipper must comply with the rules of the flag state. If the flag state does not require evidence of competence for operating a recreational boat then this is acceptable in Norwegian waters.

A valid ICC should be acceptable evidence of competence in Norway on boats which are not registered in Norway as Resolution 40 has been formally adopted by Norway. For a Norwegian flagged vessel, the ICC is only acceptable for vessels up to 15m in length. Any skipper, regardless of nationality, of a Norwegian flagged operating Norwegian recreational craft from 15 meters and upwards, but less than 24 meters, it is required to hold the Certificate of Deck Officer Class 5 Pleasure Craft (D5L).

Further information on evidence of competence for recreational boating in Norway.

Standard entry and exit formalities

Norway is not an EU Member State but it is part of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Part of the Schengen area.


Tourist visiting Norway (and those who or are in Norway temporarily for other reasons) may enter Norway with a foreign recreational boat temporarily without paying taxes. The boat must be for personal use, and it may not be used by people who are permanently resident in Norway. If you meet these requirements, you do not need to report to Norwegian Customs upon arrival.

The boat must normally be taken with you when you leave the country. However, a foreign boat owner may leave their boat in Norway for up to six weeks. To leave your boat in Norway for longer (up to 2 years), you must apply to Norwegian Customs for permission.

Further information on the import of recreational boats in Norway.

Immigration (information received 28/06/2011)

A sailing permit for pleasure vessels has been in effect in Norway for several decades, however, the rules have been revised several times. The latest revision took place in December 2009 and specifies different rules depending on the nationality of the visitor.

Visiting foreign nationals from EU/Schengen Member State must have a valid passport/ID card or other travel document. A sailing permit is not required.

Foreign nationals from a country outside Schengen who do not need to obtain a Schengen visa (USA, Canada, Australia, etc.) only need to submit an application for a sailing permit if they intend to enter/exit the Schengen territory via an UNAUTHORIZED port of entry. A sailing permit application is not required if they enter/exit Norway through an authorized port of entry in which case they must simply report to the local police upon entry for registration and entry/exit control. The authorized ports of entry are listed in Annex 16 of the Norwegian Immigration Regulations. If a sailing permit is required the application must be made with a Norwegian Embassy no less than two months in advance.

Foreign nationals who need to obtain a Schengen visa (Russia etc.) are required to apply for a visa and a sailing permit with a Norwegian Embassy at least two months prior to the start of their journey.

For further information visit the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website.

Alcohol and boating

In Norway the drink drive limit for boaters is 0,8. If Norwegian boaters are caught with an alcohol level between 0,8 and 2,0,they will lose their right to drive(sail) a boat for one year. With a level above 2,0 recorded they will lose their rights to skipper a boat for 5 years.

News article in English:

Svalbard - permit & SAR insurance required

If you are planning a trip in Svalbard, you should be aware of a number of rules and regulations and of certain local particularities. Details are published on the Governor of Svalbard website.

Holding tanks

See holding tanks for information on the discharge of waste water.

Personal floatation devices

Norwegian law requires that there is personal floatation device for every person on board. It is compulsory to wear a personal floatation device on boats under 8 metres when underway (unless surrounded by a solid enclosed cabin).


Norwegian weather information:

Travelling with pets: