The legislation is complicated so the best advise is to keep a safe distance to the border and conduct in such a way that border violations and other undesirable incidents are avoided.
About the border and crossing the border
Storskog border crossing point is a Schengen border crossing point and the only legal place to cross the border to Russia. Crossing requires valid travel documents.
The Norwegian-Russian border is marked with 396 border markers. These include concrete pedestals, cairns, posts and leading marks:
- The border posts are set up in pairs across from each other. The Norwegian posts are yellow with black tops, while the Russian posts are red and green striped.
- On land, the border posts in a pair are 4 (four) meters apart in a cleared border corridor that is 8 (eight) meters wide, and the border line is located midway between the posts.
- In waterways, border markers are located on the shores of rivers and lakes or on islets therein. The established border line is located in the rivers and lakes, and current maps (from 2019 or later) has to be used.
- The concrete pedestals and cairns are border markers that are located directly on the border line. Hence it is illegal to walk around and/ or climb on them.
The border guard has police authority and is present on behalf of the police in order to inform and to implement measures to prevent violations of the law in the border area and waterways. This entails that border guard personnel can issue orders if they discover conduct and movement that can lead to violations of the law.
Upon request from the police or the border guard anyone travelling in the border area is obligated by law to show valid ID. Third country nationals, i.e. citizens of countries other than the EU or Schengen member states, must present a passport for identification.
In accordance with border legislation the police and border guard may conduct searches of and confiscate items from people who are suspected of violating the rules for conduct and movement near the border.
Intentional or negligent violations of the rules, or complicity in such infractions, are punishable by fines or jail sentences. Attempted infractions are punished as though they were completed.
Staying and traveling near the border
If you are staying in the border areas near the Norwegian-Russian national border, special rules apply.
The following is prohibited by law:
- crossing the border on land, in the water or in the air,
- having any kind of contact or a conversation across the border,
- committing threatening or frightening acts in the direction of or across the border,
- damaging, moving or dirtying boundary markers belonging to Norway or Russia, as well as removing objects therefrom,
- littering in the border corridor,
- walking around or climbing on the border cairns or concrete pedestals as these are located directly on the boundary line,
- photographing or filming Russian military personnel or military equipment on Russian territory,
- pets or other domestic animals crossing the border. The owner will be held responsible and quarantine rules apply,
Infractions will be prosecuted.
The border lines between Norway, Russia and Finland meet at Krokfjellet (Muotkavaara) in Pasvik at the tripoint border marker. The border point is very unique because three time zones meet there in the winter months (October-March).
The tripoint border cairn is placed in the middle of where the three border lines meet. It is illegal to walk around or climb on the cairn. In doing so you will cross the border into Russia.
In order to prevent unwanted incidents and border violations, information regarding travelling in the area has been posted in parking areas and at the tripoint border cairn. The border guard regularly conducts patrols, and the area is under continuous surveillance. Infractions of the border law will be prosecuted.
A 5 km long hiking path starts at the parking area at Grensefoss and ends at the tripoint border cairn. The public is urged to stay on the hiking path, as well as to avoid travelling in the border corridor in order to avoid infractions of the border act.
Travel and fishing in waterways along the border
In rivers and lakes that form the border line between Norway and Russia, you may only use vessels in daylight.
When it's dark, vessels must be moored to the Norwegian shore or be at anchor on the Norwegian side of the border line.
Vessels may travel on wide areas of the river when it is dark if they carry lights and stay a minimum of 200 meters from the border line. They must also display lights that must be visible at least 500 meters away in clear weather.
One must always take into consideration how much time is needed to return to the starting point of the boat trip before nightfall.
All vessels, including kayaks and canoes, used in waterways that form the border between Norway and Russia must be registered at the Border Commissariat, and marked with registration numbers (plates or stickers) issued there.
The border commissioner's office must be notified about the transfer of a vessel's ownership or the acquisition of a new vessel, and registration numbers that no longer are in use must be returned.
Registration takes place at the Border Commissariat and is free.
During the summer season, some areas of the Pasvik river are marked with yellow marker buoys. The buoys are put out at certain points along the national border and function as a guide as to the location of the border line. They are anchored on the border line, but the visible part of the buoys may deviate from this.
When near the border, extra care and attention is required. The national border is set, and the border line drawn on the maps made by the Norwegian mapping authority is the only one in force. The thalweg and other natural markers may change over time.
There are many shallow areas in the Pasvik river. A few rocks/boulders and shallow waters are marked with black marker buoys. It is recommended that those who travel the waterways along the border pay attention to varying water levels and difficult areas of navigation.
In the parts of the Pasvik river that are defined as narrow waters vessels have the right to use the river's main channel unhindered, even when the border line does not coincide with this.
The vessel must be in transit, and consequently, it is illegal to stop, anchor or fish in the Russian part of the river.
The entrances to and exits from narrow waters are marked with a big white buoy. In some areas the sailing lane is marked with stakes.
Provided that one adheres to the regulations that apply to fishing in the Pasvik river and Grense Jakobselv, fishing is allowed on the Norwegian side of the border line.
- Only Norwegian citizens with the appropriate fishing license may fish in the Pasvik river (Pasvikelva) south of the Boris Gleb dam.
- Only people who have had a registered residential address in Norway for the past year may fish in Grense Jakobselv. They must also have the appropriate fishing license.