Cross-border wine sales between Norway and Sweden are on the increase according to statistics released by the Norwegian wine and brandy importers' union, VBF.

According to the VBF data, Norwegian travellers bought in excess of 3m litres of wine in Sweden in the first half of 2003, some 26% higher than the first half of 2002.

The figure is equivalent to 13% of total wine sales of the Norwegian state monopoly, Vinmonopolet, while total spirits sales to Norwegians abroad represents 30% of Vinmonopolet spirits sales.

Norwegians buy wine in Sweden to take advantage of lower prices resulting from Sweden's lower alcohol taxes. In 2001, Sweden reduced its wine taxes by 18.8%, while Norway actually increased its wine taxes in 2003.