New SIFO publication
|Norway at the border of EU - cross-border shopping and its implications|
|Randi Lavik has together with Sturla Nordlund written the article "Norway at the border of EU - cross-border shopping and its implications" published in Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.|
Cross-border shopping has for many years been an issue in the political debate in Norway, and it remains so. The focus of the media is mostly on alcohol and tobacco shopping, but shopping for other goods such as meat and other groceries are at least as important.
The aim of this article is to present estimates of the total cross-border shopping, especially from Sweden, with a special focus on alcohol and tobacco.
Data are collected from different sources, mainly from the two research institutes SIFO and SIRUS.
The total private import by travelers to Norway has increased, and so has special cross-border shopping from Sweden. An obvious reason is the price differences on alcohol, tobacco and meat in particular, which have been increasing since the neighbouring countries Sweden and Finland became members of the EU in 1995. Another reason is the general increase in travelling, especially by airplanes, during later years. People living near the border are, not surprisingly, much more often border-shoppers than people living far away. Border-shopping also has an illegal side, since some people violate the quite restrictive Norwegian quotas on travelers import e.g. of alcohol and tobacco. Around 20 per cent of the of the Norwegian travellers see such “small-scale smuggling” of spirits as a serious crime, and 25 percent had brought too much alcohol. The total private import by travelers, legal as well as illegal, represents a considerable revenue loss to Norway.