Purchasing Goods and Services in Iceland

Unge kvinder med telefoner
Benjamin Suomela / Norden.org
Here is some useful information about purchasing goods and services in Iceland.

If you live in Iceland for any length of time, you need to have an Icelandic Identification number (Id.No.). It is used for almost all transactions: such as obtaining a SIM card from a telecom operator, getting services from utilities such as water and heating, opening a bank account, getting a library card, and even ordering goods online. You can obtain an Id. No. by registering your domicile with Registers Iceland.

Bear in mind that Iceland is not a member of the European Union, and goods are not sent duty free between Europe and Iceland. For example, you must pay customs duties and VAT on goods purchased from the Nordic countries.

Radio and television subscription 

A special broadcasting fee is collected by the Directorate of Internal Revenue together with income taxes each year. Everyone has to pay this regardless of their income or assets owned. The broadcasting fee is paid annually and accrues to the state. Exempt from the fee are persons 70 years of age or older, as well as persons receiving handicapped pensions staying in residential and nursing homes. Further information can be obtained from the Directorate of Internal Revenue. 

Mobile phone subscriptions

Pay-as-you-go mobile phone cards (SIM cards) are available, with a balance you can top up as needed. No Id. No. is needed for this type of phone card. To obtain a subscription and listed number you need an Icelandic Id. No.

Electricity, water and heat 

All residential buildings in Iceland should have hot and cold water along with electricity. Housing in Iceland is heated with hot water or electricity.

Municipalities can provide information about companies that sell electricity and hot water in your locality. 

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