Food supplements

Published 13.10.2014     Modified 13.10.2014

National regulation on food supplements

The national regulation on food supplements is harmonised with the EU legislation on food supplements. Limits on the levels on vitamin and minerals are not harmonised in the EU and each country may have national limits.

Norway has set minimum and maximum levels conform to the recommended daily intake on minerals and vitamins. The levels are set in annex 1 to the regulation on Food Supplement.

Medicinal products or food supplements

Medicinal products are subject to the national legislation on medicinal products. What is defined as a medicinal product may vary in the European countries. The Norwegian Medicines Agency is responsible for administering the national legislation on medicinal products. 

Novel food

Note that there is a national prohibition on marketing novel food on the Norwegian market. Approval before marketing must be given. Approval is given by the NFSA.

In particular: herbs

Herbs may be classified as medicinal products. The Norwegian Medicines Agency is responsible for the classification of herbs. See the list of drugs and herbs (Forskrift om legemiddelklassifisering).

For your information:
- Herbs marked with L are classified as medicine
- Herbs marked with RL are classified as prescription drugs
- Food supplements containing ingredients marked L and RL, indicates that the product may be classified as a medicinal product or drug and the
- Norwegian Medicines Agency must be contacted in order to classify the product.
- Herbs marked with H – indicates that the food supplement is not a medicinal product or drug, and is therefore likely to be subject to the national food legislation. Note that this is not a final classification, but an indication only.

Other substances

There are no specific national requirements as to other substances in food supplements. The food businesses must ensure that food supplements are safe in accordance with Regulation (EU) no. 178/2002 article 14 which is incorporated into the national Food Act § 16.

Registration of food business

Food businesses operating on the Norwegian market must be registered the NFSA reporting system – Mats on the following web address:

Rules and regulations

Forskrift om kosttilskudd

Veileder til kosttilskuddsforskriften 

EU regulations

Food Supplements

More information

Fortified food

Commercial import of foods to Norway 

The Norwegian Medicines Agency

List of drugs (Forskrift om legemiddelklassifisering)

List of herbs (Forskrift om legemiddelklassifisering)

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