Norwegian exports of defence-related products in 2021

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The Government has presented the annual white paper on Norwegian exports of defence-related products. In 2021, Norwegian companies exported arms and military equipment worth around NOK 6.3 billion, as compared with NOK 6.7 billion in 2020.

‘A strong Norwegian defence industry is vital to our defence, preparedness and response capabilities, and the industry creates jobs all over the country. Supplying goods and services internationally ensures that the industry remains viable and at the technological forefront. At the same time, it is absolutely essential to maintain a strict export control system,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

The Government has published an annual white paper providing figures on exports of defence-related products since 1997. The first such white paper reported that 33 companies had exported defence-related products from Norway. By 2021, the number had risen to 102 companies. While the number of Norwegian companies exporting arms and other defence-related products has clearly increased, so has the number of actors in Norway that are required to comply with the export control rules.

‘We live in a time when we have to exercise vigilance with regard to any actors that may pose a threat to our security interests. Our export control efforts are therefore all the more important,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

The Government considers it important to continue to ensure a high level of transparency with regard to both the exports themselves and the way the guidelines for processing export licence applications are practised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This year’s white paper provides information on actual exports of defence-related products from Norway. It also gives an account of Norway’s export control system and the Storting’s decisions that provide the framework for exports of defence-related products from Norway, and the guidelines for processing export licence applications. The white paper also describes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ efforts relating to control of relevant emerging technologies.

‘This year, we have given special attention to the Government’s decision to donate defence-related products to Ukraine. This decision has broad support in the Storting and is in line with current legislation. It is important and necessary that Norway, together with its allies, continues to provide support to Ukraine,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

Exports in 2021 – key figures and facts

The total value of exports of defence-related products and other related goods and services in 2021 amounted to about NOK 8 billion. The value of exports of arms, ammunition and other military equipment was around NOK 6.3 billion in 2021, as compared with approximately NOK 6.7 billion in 2020.

Of this total, exports of arms and ammunition (category A products) amounted to approximately NOK 4.8 billion in 2021, while exports of other types of military equipment (category B products) amounted to approximately NOK 1.2 billion. Exports of goods such as communications equipment and sensors (dual-use items for military end use) amounted to approximately NOK 350 million. In addition, maintenance and other services amounted to roughly NOK 1.6 billion.

The main importers of defence-related products from Norway are still other Nato countries and Sweden and Finland. In 2021, exports to this group of countries accounted for about 76 % of exports of arms and ammunition and 76 % of exports of other types of military equipment.

In 2021, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied 22 export licence applications, to Andorra, Armenia, Botswana, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The white paper is available here (in Norwegian):

Contact: Mari Bangstad,, T:+47 41 44 08 71