Here you will find an overview of alcohol regulations in Svalbard. Links to application forms can be found in the margin on the right.

Published 6/21/2019, Updated 6/14/2024

Permit to buy alcohol - alcohol card

The sale of alcoholic beverages on Svalbard is regulated by quotas. Persons entered in the Population Register for Svalbard can purchase the following monthly quota:

  • up to two bottles of spirits (or up to four bottles of fortified wine)
  • up to 0.5 bottles of fortified wine (alternatively one bottle every two months)
  • up to 24 cans or half bottles of beer that does not contain more than 4.75% alcohol by volume. Of the annual quota, up to 24 cans or half-bottles may still contain up to 7% alcohol by volume
  • light wine for reasonable consumption

A purchase permit/alcohol card is required for the purchase of alcohol. This can be applied for to the Governor of Svalbard for those who are permanent residents or for those who stay in Svalbard for more than 90 days.

People who are not registered in the Population Register in Svalbard, or who do not stay in Svalbard for more than 90 days, are not granted alcohol cards. These must show a travel document in the form of a plane ticket when buying alcohol.

Passengers and crew on passenger vessels, fishing and catching vessels, research vessels and marine vessels must obtain alcohol on export from the mainland.

The processing time is up to 2 weeks, and the permits are delivered directly to the liquor store “Nordpolet”.

Purchase permit in excess of ordinary quota

Applications can be made to purchase alcohol in excess of the ordinary alcohol quota for individual events, both for companies and for private individuals.

The processing time is up to 4 weeks.

Liquor licences, import and purchase licences

Where a liquor license exists, this also gives permission for the purchase and import of the alcohol to be served. There is therefore no need to apply for an import or purchase permit where a liquor license is available.

An application for a liquor license that applies within the Longyearbyen spatial plan area is processed by the Longyearbyen local council.

Application for a liquor license outside the Longyearbyen spatial plan area, including vessels, cabins/camps, settlements, etc. is processed by the Governor.

An application can be made for the import of alcohol as part of commercial activities, manufacture, wholesale, sale and serving of alcoholic beverages.

The processing time is up to 4 weeks.

Liquor license for ships sailing in Svalbard waters

Ships sailing in Svalbard waters must have a liquor license issued by the Governor in order to serve alcoholic beverages.

For passenger vessels calling at Svalbard, alcohol can be served to persons accompanying the vessel when there is a license to serve alcohol from the vessel's home country.

The processing time is up to 4 weeks.

Import/export of alcohol

Svalbard is a duty- and tax-free area. This means that goods brought from Svalbard to the mainland are processed by customs on arrival on the mainland as if they had entered from abroad. If you have stayed on Svalbard for at least 24 hours, you can bring alcoholic beverages with you according to the current rules. See information from the Norwegian Customs.

Private individuals residing in Svalbard must purchase their alcohol quota in Svalbard and do not have the opportunity to import alcohol duty-free from the mainland into Svalbard.

Private individuals with a short stay in Svalbard have the right to bring alcoholic beverages for reasonable consumption upon entry.

Sales and import and export of alcohol are regulated by Regulations on the alcohol scheme for Svalbard.

On the Norwegian Customs' website, you can read more about customs clearance of larger quantities of alcohol than the quota.