Updated: May 27, 2019

Norway is outside EU and in order to protect Norwegian suppliers from international competition, they add a customs duty on many products, including butter. In fact butter will be topped with a 25% duty.

The Norwegian cow’s are not able to produce enough butter for Christmas this year and therefore Norway has temporarily removed the duty on butter. They hope that dairies inside EU will be ready to export butter to them.

The funny thing here is that the diaries has decided to turn the offer down. They find the normal 25% duty very unfair and protective and decided, that the Norwegians will have to live without butter during christmas, since the duty only has been removed temporarily.

For an EU web shop (and if you don’t sell butter) the customs duty make it difficult to sell in Norway for two reasons.

1. Administration of customs handling is both complex and time consuming to establish

2. The customs duty will reduce competitiveness compared to local players The administration is an area where MakesYouLocal can help. Wer can set up routines with the right partners and make sure you stay competitive and profitable, when selling online in Norway.We can’t change that Norway is outside EU and right know I don’t think they consider joining 🙂 

Updated: May 27, 2019

During these months the Danish authorities are tracking down foreign web shops selling in Denmark without paying Danish VAT. This is of course not okay, but I don’t think they do this on purpose…..it is just not that simple to figure out how to pay VAT in Denmark.

Imagine if you should start paying VAT in another country. Where would you start? The local authorities are not always as international and agile as we could wish for.

If you are planning on selling online in Denmark, Finland, Sweden or Norway we can help you get started without breaking the law and on top of that, make sure your meet the expectations of your potential customers in the local market. Visit MakesYouLocal or contact us directly at max@makesyoulocal.com.

Back to VAT….

You need to get a Danish VAT number and you can use your existing company or you can set up a Danish branch of your existing company. You can also decide to set up a legal entity, a company with limited responsibility, in Denmark. The right choice for you depends on your need for payment methods and other expectations to your Nordic venture.

You can apply for a VAT number at the Danish authorities using this link to their digital form: http://www.skat.dk/SKAT.aspx?oId=1769098&vId=202065

You will also have to make a few adjustments on your web shop if you sell to companies.

According to EU regulations, VAT from companies are collected locally and not by you, as you do with BtC sales.

VAT is usually paid every third month and it is easily done through an online portal provided by the authorities.

….so it is possible to follow the law, it takes some time to figure out the bureaucracy and it helps a lot if you have done it before – and therefore I strongly recommend using an accountant or a company like MakesYouLocal.

During the last months I have looked through 5 or 6 reviews of German versions of Danish web shops. None of them meet the expectations of the German online shopper in the first (or second) version.

What is wrong with the German online shopper?

Several things actually and I will get back to them later on. But the first and most important thing I have realized is that web shops expanding into new countries cant take decisions based in their existing experience alone.

You might think this “goes without saying” and so did I, until I overheard a discussion between 20 Swedish web shop owners discussing the need of accepting Dankort as Payment method in Denmark.

Dankort is used for 80% of all online payments in Denmark and no Dane would open a webshop without accepting the payment method. Never the less, these 20 Swedes came to the conclusion that since the Dankort was co-branded as a Visa card, the Dankort was not needed.

They used their logic based on all the e-commerce experience they had (from Sweden) and came to the wrong conclusion. You always need input from persons living in the country you are targeting.

This also means that the problems we have with the German online shopper also appears in different versions for each country.

The typical mistakes when web shops launch in Germany

Germany is a huge country and this also means that the German people are less international than a person from Denmark or another smaller country. Not in any negative way, but Germans are used to solutions tailored to them and their culture. Launching a 80% localized Web shop will do no good.

Typical mistakes

• Only 25% of Germans wants to pay with Credit cards. You also need Sufortüberweisung, Paypal and Invoice.

• Legal stuff is critical. In Germany  you will be fined 1500€ direct, if you don’t follow German law.

• Do the translation probably using a grammatical correct language.

• Local phone and address is an important trust mark.

• Showing your hard earned Swedish trust mark on your German web shop won’t help you, you need to get a German trust mark.


It is possible….

When you  look at the size of the market it is a huge opportunity, but you have to accept the fact that it requires a good starting point, to be successfull in a market with more than 100.000 web shops….and maybe one or two selling products similar to those you sell?