How Norwegian Customs use (waste?) their resources…

The last week my sister and her family have been visiting us. Always a pleasure.

However, the Norwegian Customs (Tollvesenet), seems to consider them a risk. At least more than the hundreds of cars with Norwegian plates which pass their checkpoint at Svinesund every day.
Within 5 days, during which my sister and family stayed at Lökholmen, Sweden they ave crossed the border to Norway 3 times, and their car was pulled out of the queue at Tollregion Øst-Norge Svinesund tollkontor… 3 times!
And before you wonder/ask: No, it’s not the way their car looked. They’re driving a brand new Kia Sorrento.
No, as far as I can tell, the only thing that made them different from most other cars must have been their Dutch license plates.

The routine was the same all 3 times: They were motioned off to the side (so that the other cars could pass without being hindered), and were asked questions like:

  • Where are you staying?
  • What is the purpose of your visit to Norway?
  • Where does your family live? (after answering the previous question with ‘visiting family’)
  • Is this your car?

Of course these people were only doing their jobs, but why do that same job 3 times in 5 days?? Why not ask these questions once, and spend resources the other 2 times on other cars instead? Surely the customs officers must know that shed-loads of booze and meat are smuggled across the border each day/week/year by the locals? And that a car with a family with 2 young children is less likely to have the trunk full of drugs and booze?
Oh, and I should mention here that the contents of the car was never once inspected! Something I would do with a suspect car…

In my opinion yet another branch of government here that wastes my tax kroner, and I can’t even do something about it… As a holder of a Dutch passport I am expected to pay (high) taxes every year, but I am not allowed to vote so I can’t determine who gets to say what is done with the tax money… 🙁

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