On July 1 2000, several amendments to the Norwegian Alien Regulation came into effect. Among other things, the provisions setting out a stowaway's right to go ashore in Norway were amended, partly as a codification of practise, and partly to conform with Norway's obligations under the Schengen Agreement.

The provisions deal separately with normal stowaways and those seeking political asylum. A stowaway not seeking asylum, and possessing a valid passport, discharge book, or another identification paper approved as a travel document, in addition to a valid visa if requested, is allowed to go ashore in Norway.

Stowaways who do not have such documentation, may also be permitted to go ashore in Norway for humanitarian reasons, national reasons, or because of Norway's international obligations. The wording is new and complies better with Norway's obligations under the Schengen Agreement than the previous wording did. An entry permit given on such conditions will only be valid in Norway, and will not give stowaways the right to enter other states that have adopted the Schengen Agreement.

A stowaway or seaman claiming to be a refugee, or giving information which indicates that he is entitled to protection against victimization, is entitled to have his case tried by the Norwegian Directorate of Aliens on the same grounds as any other refugee seeking asylum in Norway. Stowaways seeking refugee status in Norway are normally permitted to go ashore.

For further information on this topic please contact Nils H Thommessen or Malin Lundgren at Wiersholm, Mellbye & Bech by telephone (+47 210 210 00) by fax (+47 210 210 01) or by e-mail ([email protected] or [email protected]).

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