Diapers smuggled in large quantities

Norwegian diapers smuggled in large quantities

Low diaper prices in Norway have led to smuggling with the aim to sell them on the black market abroad.

As a result of a price war in the grocery stores dating from 2010, Norway has very low prices on diapers compared to other countries. The stores used cheap diapers as a lure to make parents of infants and toddlers shop with them. Eight years later, the Norwegian diaper prices are still low compared with other countries in Europe.

While Norwegians go to Sweden to buy cheap meat and candies, many foreigners come to Norway to buy cheap diapers. In fact, prices in Norway have led to several making a hefty profit from the illegal sale of Norwegian diapers.

Master’s thesis on diapers

Smuggling and sales of Norwegian diapers on the black market induced Heidi Buø Åmot to write a master’s thesis about the phenomena. The thesis was completed in 2016, but the smuggling is still going on. This is confirmed by a chief of section in the border control, Bjørn Arild Sørli. Sørli is employed by the customs Region Central Norway.

He tells that there have been few diaper seizures in recent years, none so far this year, but is sure that it still takes place even though it had its heyday a number of years ago.

Very lucrative

Buø Åmot says that diapers are very lucrative because there are so large price differences between different countries. At the same time, she points out that it is difficult to define the extent of smuggling and how often it occurs.

– It’s hard to say anything about how many people are doing this, as diapers in themselves are not illegal to buy. That makes disclosure much more difficult, she says.

During the assignment, Buø Åmot estimates that there have been between 80 and 250 diaper smuggling attempts a year. That corresponds to 2 to 10 million diapers a year, sold at as little as NOK 1.20 a pop , roughly a third of the price in, say, Sweden. Overall, this provides the diaper smugglers with an annual profit in the range of NOK 2 to 6 million.

Few seizures

Even if buying diapers is legal, you are required to notify or provide information to the Norwegian Customs Administration if you export goods with a value of NOK 5,000 or more. This according to Norwegian law.

Buø Åmot further informs that Norwegian and Swedish Customs between 2011 and 2016 made 13 diaper seizures. It represents a very small proportion of the number of smuggling attempts and shows that the likelihood of being discovered and punished is very low. The net value of the diapers seized in Norway and Sweden has varied between NOK 10,000 and 75,000.

Why diapers?

Norway has by far Europe’s cheapest diapers. You will not have to travel further than Denmark or Sweden before the prices are at least doubled. The price difference with other countries is more than enough to make diaper smuggling very profitable.

For example, Buø Åmot has found that the profit of a smuggling trip from Norway to Lithuania is between NOK 13,000 and 19,000 a pop. That constitutes more than an average monthly salary in Lithuania and provides insight into the profitability of buying goods where it’s cheap and selling it where it’s expensive, which is, needless to say, the case with any kind of trade.

In addition, the likelihood of being discovered and punished is relatively low, so the pros outweigh the cons by a good margin.

Cheap Diapers Finance Norway Smuggling
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in january
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Euronext operates stock exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and Lisbon. In a statement, the operator said it had approached the board of directors of the Oslo Stock Exchange (Oslo Bors VPS) to seek its support for a tender offer of 625 million euros for all outstanding shares in the bourse. "Euronext strongly believes that Oslo Bors VPS' unique strategic and competitive positioning, including a global leading position in seafood derivatives and...
The Abortion Act is one of the most controversial issues during the Government negotiations that started on Hadeland yesterday. NTB has talked to several who were on the «red» side in the struggle for the Christian Democrats’ choice of direction. That ended up with a «blue» victory as most are aware. Not least because of Deputy Leader Kjell Ingolf Ropstad singled out that it presented a «historic opportunity» to make changes to the Abortion Act’s section 2...
A Morocco prosecutor on Sunday presented to an anti-terror judge 15 people suspected of links to the murder of two Scandinavian women in the Atlas Mountains, Rabat's attorney general said. The prosecution asked that the suspects be investigated for "setting up a gang to prepare and commit terrorist acts", "premeditated attacks on life" and "advocating for terrorism", the attorney general said. Seven other detainees will be referred to the prosecution in th...
Lower Norwegian King Crab quotas in 2019 The total Norwegian quota for male King Crabs has been set at 1400 tonnes for 2019. This is a decrease of 350 tonnes from 2018. The Ministry of Fisheries simultaneously warns of tighter control of the industry.   – In recent years we have had a very high degree of harvesting of King Crab. Now the researchers say that if this continues, it will lead to a collapse of the stock. That will not happen. We will continue t...
Dreary news from around the world As Christmas peace descends on those fortunate to live in a peaceful corner of Tellus, it is business as usual, out in the ”real” world. Death toll rises after an attack on Government buildings in Kabul 43 people have been killed following an attack on Government offices in Kabul, Afghanistan on Christmas Eve, the authorities state. At least ten people are injured. Most people killed are employees of the Ministry of Labour...
Heavy winds, avalanche and landslide hazards and slippery roads create problems in several places in Norway on Christmas day. – Drive extremely cautiously, the police urges.   Slippery roads, closed Mountain crossings and bad weather In Voss, one of several areas where, according to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), there is a considerable landslide hazard on Christmas Day, a two-cubic meter block of ice fell on the E16 at Evanger...
Since 1999, the average American has become heavier and shorter according to a state health study. By 2015, the average height Americans around the country were 175.4 centimetres, two millimetres shorter than at the start of the study in 1999. American women were also two millimetres shorter. The study also shows that American men and women have become around three kilograms heavier on average since 1999. The average American woman now weighs 77 kilograms,...
PFU believes that iTromsø, Dagsavisen and Harstad Tidende have violated good press coverage in their writing surrounding sexual harassment allegations against former Progress Party Youth (FpU) Deputy Leader, Kristian Eilertsen. The cases ended with that Eilertsen received a warning from the Progress Party’s organisation committee, without being deprived of office nor imposed with other sanctions. Eilertsen reacted to the coverage of the matter in iTromsø,...
The European Union on Tuesday published further contingency plans for a "no-deal" Brexit, piling pressure Prime Minister Theresa May by warning that Britons will lose a host of travel rights from recognition of driving licences to lower credit card fees and no mobile roaming charges. The European Commission, the bloc's executive arm, said that, while it is working hard for a deal, it must prepare for "all outcomes" and "contingency measures in narrowly def...