Increased cross-border trade with Sweden

Never before have the outlets of the Swedish liquor control board (Systembolaget) sold more alcohol to price-conscious Norwegians.

New statistics show that the sale of alcohol to Norwegian consumers has skyrocketed in Sweden. Up until the end of September, Systembolaget sold a total of 24,5 million liters of alcohol in the stores located at or close to the Norwegian border. That's an increase of 4,4 percent compared to last year.

The Norwegian Wine and Spirit Suppliers (VBF) think the increase in sales is caused by the rise in Norwegian taxes on alcohol, and that even more Norwegians will travel across the border to buy alcohol in the future.

In a press release, the VBF highlights that Norwegian authorities have increased the taxes on alcohol 13 times since 2009, whereas Swedish taxes have remained the same.

Already, thousands of Norwegians travel across the border each year, and secretary general in the VBF, Ingunn Jordheim, doesn't think the trend will turn as long as taxes keep going up.

"This is developing in the wrong direction, and is proof that the government's tax policies have failed. It weakens Vinmonopolet (the Norwegian liquor control board, ed.) economically, and diminishes its legitimacy," Jordheim tells NRK.

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