Norwegian law on prostitution
Selling sex is legal in Norway, but buying is not. Below, you can read a summary of Norwegian law on prostitution and other related legislation.
It is illegal for Norwegian nationals / permanent residents to buy sexual services both in Norway and abroad. Buying sexual services is punishable by fines and prison for up to 1 year.
Buying sexual services from persons under the age of 18 is punishable by fines or prison for up to 2 years. This clause applies to buying sex from persons above sexual legal age (16), but under 18 (legal age). Buying sex from persons younger than 16, is subject to stricter regulations under the Norwegian Penal Code concerning sexual intercourse with children under the ages of 14 and 16 respectively.
Pimping and procuring
It is illegal to benefit from, or facilitate other people’s prostitution. It is also illegal to rent out an apartment, premises or a hotel room to persons who sell sex there.
It is illegal to offer, arrange or solicit prostitution by public announcement. This is punishable by fines or imprisonment for up to 6 months. Public announcement means all forms of advertising online, in newspapers and magazines, on posters and similar.
Punishment ranges from fines to 5 years’ imprisonment, depending on how the person made money from the prostitution of others. Pro Sentret has found that the police usually apply this law in connection with the provision, advertising and organising of other people’s prostitution.
There are three main aspects to human trafficking:
Exploitation: Human trafficking involves someone aiming to exploit other people.
Coercion/deception: Trafficking involves one person gaining control over another person through various kinds of threats, violence, coercion, deception or the abuse of a position of vulnerability.
Transport: Trafficking involves recruiting, transporting, receiving and housing people.
The following aspects are not relevant:
Whether or not national borders have been crossed.
Whether or not organised crime groups are involved.
Whether some freedom of choice was involved; which choices a person made before he/she was a victim of human trafficking.
The level of exploitation, coercion and threats.
The willingness of the person to work with the police and other authorities.
Exploiting the prostitution of others is just one form of exploitation covered by the definition of human trafficking. Human trafficking is punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
The Planning and Building Act sets out certain requirements for premises where commercial activities take place. The act has been used to close down massage parlours in premises that fail to meet the requirements for commercial activities.
Public order in the streets
The police are responsible for keeping public order. This allows the police to intervene to stop breaches of public order. The police are authorised to ask you to move away from a specific area. If you fail to leave when asked, you may be fined.
Earnings, taxes and VAT
In principle, all earnings must be declared, including earnings from prostitution, but how this is enforced varies. In some cases, people have had their tax estimated on earnings from prostitution. Some persons who sell sex registers as self-employed, for example as masseurs, in order to pay tax and access the welfare benefits that comes from this. Most services are also liable to VAT in Norway.