Most foreign companies with assignments at Norwegian building or construction sites need specific ID cards for their workers. Without these ID cards their workers will be denied access to Norwegian building or construction sites. Below we will explain further what these ID cards are, why they are needed, and how to get them.
What are ID cards for building and construction sites?
ID cards for building and construction sites (“HSE cards” / “HMS-kort” / “byggekort”) are ID cards that workers must keep clearly visible while present on a building or construction site in Norway. These ID cards provide Norwegian authorities and clients with an overview of who is working at a building or construction site, and who they are working for. The ID cards are supposed to increase security, prevent social dumping and prevent illicit work.
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Why do foreign companies need ID cards for their workers?
Norwegian law requires all enterprises that carry out work on a construction or building site, to provide ID cards for their workers. Many contracts for assignments in Norway also require foreign contractors to get ID cards for their workers. Failure to comply with this requirement may have serious consequences.
Foreign workers without ID cards may simply be denied admission to the building or construction site, causing a delay to the assignment in Norway. A delay / failure to comply may lead to negative contractual and/or commercial effects for the foreign contractor. Additionally, Norwegian authorities may fine foreign contractors for failing to comply with the requirement.
How can foreign companies get ID cards for their workers?
The ID cards can only be ordered from a card issuer designated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion. Foreign companies may face several challenges when ordering ID cards for their workers, since quite a lot of requirements must be met before the ID cards can be ordered. Additionally, at times there may be long processing times with Norwegian authorities. Thus, a foreign company should prepare for ordering the ID cards as soon as possible. Below we will present the requirements that must be met before the cards will be issued.
Requirement 1: The foreign company must be registered in Norway
Before an ID card can be ordered the foreign contractor must register their company at the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities (“Enhetsregisteret”). Such registration is mandatory under the ID card regulations. By registering, the foreign company will get a Norwegian organisation number which provides unique identification of the company.
Staffing enterprises must also register at the Register of Staffing Enterprises. VAT liable companies are required to additionally register in the VAT register. Companies not liable to VAT must register an exemption before placing the HSE card order.
Also read: Register a company in Norway
Requirement 2: The contract and workers must be reported
Before ID cards can be ordered, the foreign contractor must report the contract and workers to the Norwegian tax authorities. The contractor reports the contract and workers by filing RF-1198. The client will file RF-1199. The report can alternatively be filed electronically by logging into an online portal.
Correctly reporting the assignment and workers is very important. Any mistakes with the reporting, particularly with the reported dates of the assignment or working periods of the workers, may become a serious obstacle when ordering the ID cards.
Requirement 3: Access to the HSE card portal must be obtained
HSE cards can only be ordered online. This means that the person ordering the HSE cards needs access to the online portal where the card order must be placed. In some cases, the person ordering the cards may have received such access already by being registered as a director, manager or contact person of the foreign company. However, if someone else is ordering the HSE cards then a registered director, manager or contact person may have to delegate ordering rights to that person.
Furthermore, to access the HSE card portal, both the director/manager/contact person, and the person ordering the HSE cards must have a valid Norwegian personal identification number/D-number, and MinID, BankID, Buypass ID or commfides.
Requirement 4: The cards must be ordered correctly
Once access to the HSE card portal has been obtained, the it is time for ordering the ID cards. At this time all workers must be successfully registered in Norway and have received their D-numbers.
When ordering the ID cards, a copy of each worker’s picture must be uploaded to the online portal. A copy of each worker’s passport or national identity card must also be uploaded.
The documents uploaded must meet certain requirements, otherwise the order will be rejected. The copy of the pictures should meet the quality standards of a passport photograph (i.e. a clear, focused picture on a white background). Likewise, the copy of the passports must be clear and good quality. Any uploaded document, not in compliance with these requirements, may result in the rejection.
When the documents have been uploaded, a small fee must be paid for the ID cards. The application can then be submitted.
After the HSE cards have been ordered, the card issuer will normally send an e-mail to confirm that the order has been placed. The card issuer will normally send another e-mail when the order has been processed. If the card order was successful, a pdf document with a QR code will normally be used attached to the second e-mail. This document can be used as a temporary HSE card for accessing the construction site until the HSE card has been produced and received.
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Foreign companies with workers at Norwegian building or construction sites need specific ID cards for their workers to avoid fines and workers being denied access to the sites. Before the ID cards can be issued, the foreign company must register with the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities, report their contracts and workers on RF-1198, get access to the HSE card portal and, and order the cards correctly using the portal.
The process to order ID cards may take time, and there is the possibility that the order will be rejected. Thus, foreign companies with assignments at Norwegian building or construction sites, should register and report to Norwegian authorities as early and diligently as possible.
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Article first published 14 August 2018 - latest update October 2020