Statistics on alcohol sales

Updated: 3 June 2024

Next update: 2 September 2024

Alcohol consumption of wine
Alcohol consumption of wine
1st quarter 2024
litres of pure alcohol per capita
Turnover of alcohol in 1 000 litres (except purchases of alcohol abroad)
Turnover of alcohol in 1 000 litres (except purchases of alcohol abroad)
Pure alcohol in litresLitres of pure alcohol per capitaLitres of pure alcohol per capita
1st quarter 20231st quarter 2024Change in per cent1st quarter 20231st quarter 2024Change in per cent20222023Change in per cent
Alcohol, total6 4286 224-3.21.411.34-5.06.646.37-4.1
Spirits1 0771 019-
Wine2 4892 404-3.40.540.52-3.72.522.43-3.6
Beer2 6072 536-2.70.570.55-3.52.732.61-4.4
Explanation of symbols

Selected tables and charts from this statistics

  • Turnover of spirits, wine, beer and alco pops. 1 000 litres
    Turnover of spirits, wine, beer and alco pops. 1 000 litres
    Pure alcohol totalSpiritsWineBeerAlco pops
    As soldPure alcoholAs soldPure alcoholAs soldPure alcoholAs soldPure alcohol
    201325 62011 5064 48776 6049 499244 98011 04713 013587
    201425 29611 1924 36575 8019 399241 53810 91113 774621
    201525 30411 1594 35275 9389 418240 44510 89814 106636
    201625 84111 1204 33776 3519 470249 45011 33615 472698
    201725 90211 1114 33376 0759 437250 78911 41415 943718
    201826 20710 8884 24777 2199 577254 92511 58617 677798
    201926 56511 2294 37978 8789 787254 54611 57618 231822
    202032 09114 0365 474105 15413 035278 18212 57522 3151 006
    202133 27214 6045 696106 56713 221291 57613 16326 4621 193
    202229 95913 2035 14991 37611 345271 12912 29525 9281 169
    202329 14212 4704 86389 60811 124263 10111 95326 6431 202
    3rd quarter 20218 8243 8181 48927 0023 35079 9313 6158 200370
    4th quarter 20218 5424 3971 71527 7993 45668 5763 1215 534250
    1st quarter 20226 5722 9311 14320 2472 51359 0132 6705 437245
    2nd quarter 20228 2943 2321 26124 3563 02380 3873 6408 218371
    3rd quarter 20227 1633 0871 20421 3602 65066 2532 9986 874310
    4th quarter 20227 9303 9521 54125 4143 15965 4772 9865 398243
    1st quarter 20236 4282 7611 07720 0582 48957 4952 6075 641254
    2nd quarter 20237 9862 9661 15724 2053 00376 2683 4528 280373
    3rd quarter 20236 9832 9731 15920 9042 59464 4342 9137 034317
    4th quarter 20237 7463 7691 47024 4403 03864 9032 9815 688257
    1st quarter 20246 2242 6141 01919 3712 40455 9252 5365 865265
    Explanation of symbols
  • Turnover of spirits, wine, beer and alco pops per capita 15 years and over. Litres
    Turnover of spirits, wine, beer and alco pops per capita 15 years and over. Litres
    Pure alcohol totalSpiritsWineBeerAlco pops
    As soldPure alcoholAs soldPure alcoholAs soldPure alcoholAs soldPure alcohol
    3rd quarter 20211.970.850.336.040.7517.880.811.830.08
    4th quarter 20211.910.980.386.220.7715.340.701.240.06
    1st quarter 20221.460.650.254.490.5613.090.591.210.05
    2nd quarter 20221.840.720.285.400.6717.830.811.820.08
    3rd quarter 20221.590.680.274.740.5914.690.661.520.07
    4th quarter 20221.760.880.345.640.7014.520.661.200.05
    1st quarter 20231.410.600.244.390.5412.570.571.230.06
    2nd quarter 20231.750.650.255.290.6616.680.751.810.08
    3rd quarter 20231.530.650.254.570.5714.090.641.540.07
    4th quarter 20231.690.820.325.340.6614.190.651.240.06
    1st quarter 20241.340.560.224.180.5212.060.551.260.06
    Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The figures are calculated based on figures reported to the Norwegain Tax Administration by businesses that pay tax on alcohol sales. The number do not include taxfree or turistimport.

The information under «About the statistics» was last updated 7 March 2024.

Alcoholic beverage: Each beverage with an alcohol content over 0.7 volume per cent.

Litres as sold: litres of alcoholic beverage.

Spirits: Beverage with an alcohol content of more than 22 volume per cent.

Wine: Beverage with an alcohol content of more than 4.7- and up to 22 volume per cent.

Alcopops: Beverage with an alcohol content of more than 0.7- and up to 4.7 volume per cent.

Beer: Beer with an alcohol content of more than 0.7- and up to 22 volume per cent.

Name: Statistics on alcohol sales
Topic: Wholesale and retail trade and service activities

2 September 2024

Division for Structural Business Statistics

Publication of data at the national level only.

Earlier annually, from the first quarter of 2003 quarterly.

Not relevant

Primary data and the compiled statistics are saved on Excel-files.

Official Norwegian alcohol statistics were published as of 1910, with figures back to 1851. The purpose of the statistics is to map the development in registered turnover for alcoholic beverages in Norway.

Users include public and private sector agencies, organizations and individuals.

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar.

For more information see Statistics Norway's principle of equal treatment of users

Statistic Norway's statistics on alcohol sales are related to:

The Norwegian Brewers and Soft Drink Producers' salestatistics
The state-owned wine and spirit monopoly's sales statistics
Statistics Norway's index of retail sales that shows the development in trade with beverages in specialised stores.
Statistics Norway's wholesale and retail trade sales statistics that shows turnover figures in NOK for trade with beverages in specialised stores.

The Statistics Act, paragraphs 4-9.

Not relevant

The statistics comprise all alcoholic beverages that producers and importers declare liable to excise duty in the course of a quarter. The liability to pay duty arises at the import or withdrawal of alcoholic beverages from premises which the Norwegain Tax Administration has approved for the production or storage of dutiable goods. Alcohol for medicinal, technical or scientific use are not included in the figures. Alcoholic beverages that are brewed at home, purchased abroad, or smuggled into the country are also excluded.

The Norwegian Tax Administration system ELSÆR (system for electronic raporting of excise duties). The reports obtained from ELSÆR concern the self-determination of excise duties, including notification of changes. In addition, reports are obatined from Avgiftsweb on authority determinations after checks/refunds.

The statistics are based on a full census survey.

All producers of alcoholic beverages and importers of beverages with an alcohol content over 0.7 volume per cent must register with the Norwegian Tax Administration, cf. the excise duty regulations (saf.) § 3-2-1 first paragraph and §5-1 letter a. As a general rule, that tax obligation also applies to importers of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol strength above 2.5% by volum, cf. saf. §5-1 letter e. The duty to pay does not cover the production for own use of an alcoholic drink that is not spirits.

Companies which are not registered with the Norwegian Tax Administration must declare and pay taxes on alcoholic beverages at import, cf. saf. §5-2. Refers to the Norwegian Tax Administration registration guide on their website.

Enterprises that are registered as liable for excise duties must report their excise duties in the reportingsystem ELSÆR. Registered enterprises that pay excise tax must submit their tax returns to ELSÆR by the 18th of the following month. Taxpayers register tax codes consisting of tax type and tax group. Tax group is linked to the type of alcohol and alcohol strenght.

Approximately two months after the tax declaration month Statistics Norway receives turnover figures for beer, spirits and wine per tax group from the Norwegian Tax Administration, measured in litres sold.

Turnover measured as litres as sold
The turnover of each type of beverage is computed by adding up the amount of litres as sold from the Customs' turnover figures according to the classification of alcoholic beverages.

Turnover measured as litres pure alcohol
The turnover of spirits multiplied with the average alcohol content divided by 100, gives an estimate for the turnover measured as litres pure alcohol. The turnover of wine and alcopops measured as litres pure alcohol are calculated in the same way. For beer, Statistics Norway have information on the average alcohol content per tax group. Consequently, the total litres of pure alcohol is computed from the turnover measured as litres pure alcohol per tax group and then aggregate to total litres of pure alcohol for beer. Finally the total turnover measured as litres of pure alcohol is computed from the aggregated turnover figures for the different types of beverages.

Turnover per capita
As the turnover of alcoholic beverages rises with the number of inhabitants, the average turnover per capita 15 years and over who are registered as Norwegian residents at January 1 in the year of interest is also computed.

Not relevant
Not relevant

The series of statistics on alcohol sales dates back to 1851, but contain a number of breaks. The most important breaks are described here.

Changes in the calculation method of the consumption of beer
From the 1980's the consumption of beer was calculated based on tax declarations from the Directorate of Customs and Excise instead of the declarations from breweries' distribution of beer, as was the case from 1913. Before that time information from county governors' five year reports were used to start with and then statements on corn set aside to malt from 1858.

Changes in the calculation of the consumption of spirits, wine and alcopops
After the prohibition against sale of spirits and fortified wine was introduced in 1917, people constantly acquired more spirits by means of medical certificate or for technical purposes, and used it as beverage. Consequently, lawful sales of spirits was included in the calculation of the total consumption of alcohol from 1921 - when its calculation was reliable - until 1931. No figures on the consumption of spirits were published for previous years during the prohibition period.

When the state-owned wine and spirit monopoly was established in 1923, it became easier to compute the consumption of spirits and wine more precisely, based on the company's import and sales statements. In previous years, production and import figures were used to compute the consumption of spirits, while the consumption of wine was considered equal to its import up until 1924.

The wholesale monopoly was, however, abolished in 1996. Statistics of wine and spirits have since then been calculated with the aid of turnover data from the Directorate of Customs and Excise. The average alcohol content is still collected from the state-owned wine and spirit monopoly and the Norwegian Brewers and Soft Drink Producers. It is used to calculate the number of litres pure alcohol sold by others than the state-owned wine and spirit monopoly. A similar break in the series exists in the calculation of the turnover of alcopops, measured as litres pure alcohol, from 2003 when alcopops became available in grocery stores.

The Customs starts using a new electronic datasystem
In 1998 the Customs started using a new electronic data system. This brought along insufficient basic data and, consequently, no statistics on alcohol sales were published this year.

Transfer to The Norwegian Tax Administration Since the 1st of january 2016 the responsibility for the excise duties was transferred to The Norwegian Tax Administration. The Norwegian Customs continues to have partial responsibility for some duties, mainly for private and unregistered imports.

Registered enterprises that pay excise tax must report excise tax electronically via the Tax Administration rapportingsystem ELSÆR 2.0, cf. tax administration Act §8-4. th taxation period for most excise duties, including duty on alcohol, is a calander month, cf. tha tax administration regulations §8-4-1 third paragraph. The delivery deadline for tax return for alcohol tax is the 18th of the month following the tax assessment period, cf. the tax administration regulations section § 8-4-2 first paragraph.

When excise duty is submited, companies have to state the calculation basis (quantity) themselves and the duty is calculated. This mocel is called the self-determination model. Submitted tax notices can be corrected by taxpayers even up to 3 years back in time by sending a socalled change notice, cf.Tax Administration Act § 9-4 first and second paragraphs. When authorities (The Tax Agency determine taxes and fees, because the taxpayer fails to submit a tax return or because the Tax agency`s checks reveal errors, it is called an official determination. As a general rule, the tax authorities can take up the tax assessment for changes for five years after the end of the tax assessment period, see the Tax Admninistration Act section 12-6 first paragraph. If it applies to serious tax evasion, the deadline is ten years, see §12-6 second paragraph.

The Tax Administration carry out ongoing checks of those liable to excise duty`s self-determined notifications, based on the agency`s risk assessments.

As previously mentioned, the registered taxpayers must submit excise duty periodically. If the excise duty is not submitted within the deadline, the liable entity will be reminded of there duty. Companies that still do not reply have to pay penalty interest on the tax claim. It will also not be possible for the company to submit next month excise duty before all previous month are submitted. In the extreme failure to deliver an excise duty will lead to de-registration, which means that the business has to discontinue its alcohol production and/or importation. It is a rare occurance that a company does not send in a tax declaration, but can happen in connection with for example bankruptcy. In these cases, the company will be deregistered and the trustee will take over responsibility for any final reporting.

On the basis of the Tax Administration Act §9-4 first and second paragraphs and the Tax administration Act §12-6 first paragraph, there may be changes to the submitted excise duty back in time. Statistics Norway receives the report approximatly two months after the reporting deadline, so changes may accure after the report has been delivered. The above mentioned corrections in tax data are not included in Statistics Norway's statistics on alcohol sales after the receipt date.

Not relevant