CELIS Country Note on Norway, 2023
by Charlotte Hafstad
Date of Publication: 25 October 2023
Since 1 January 2019, investments in Norwegian companies that are subject to the Security Act, have been screened by Norwegian authorities. The screening provisions of Chapter 10 in the Security Act have recently been amended, though they has not entered into force yet. The amendments include broadening the scope of companies subject to screening and lowering the threshold for notification to the relevant Ministries. The Security act and its adhering Regulations do not stipulate which sectors and activities are covered by screening, as the decisive criterion is whether the company is subject to the Security act or is a security-certified supplier. There is no publicly available list of the companies covered by the Security Act.
The screening regime applies to foreign, EU- and Norwegian investors, provided the acquisition relates to a company covered by the Security Act. For foreign investments relating to Norwegian companies not subject to the Security Act, Norwegian authorities can nevertheless stop or impose restrictive conditions on the acquisition pursuant to § 2-5 of the Security Act. However, there is no notification obligation related to this provision, and the crucial criterion for applying the provision is if the acquisition may present a not insignificant risk of a threat to national security interests.
Norwegian authorities have recently revised the screening regulations in the Security Act, and a governmental appointed committee is currently considering the need for further revisions and regulations pertaining to investments and transactions relating to companies not covered by the Security Act. Consequently, there is a possibility of additional changes to the Norwegian screening regulations and -mechanism in the near future.