The Norwegian building and civil engineering contract


The lack of standard legal provisions in Norwegian Contract Law for Works and Labor gives the contracting parties a broad scope for individual agreements. Due to this background, so-called standard contracts have been developed in Norway for certain situations in Contract Law for Works and Labor, e.g. the ‘Norwegian building and civil engineering contract’.

The Norwegian standard contracts (C – NS) are negotiated between industry organizations with the aim of reducing the risk of disproportionate contractual provisions and achieving the best possible balance of risk distribution. The agreement is optional but often in practice.

The standard contract NS 8405 Norwegian building and civil engineering contract (Main Contract Form) (NS 8405 Norsk bygge- og anleggskontrakt) is the basic model in Norwegian construction contract practice. The standard shall not be used in contracts with the consumer. Many of the rules contained therein can also be found in the general contractor and subcontractor standard contracts NS 8415, NS 8416, NS 8407 and NS 8417. It covers in particular the following topics:

  • Definitions
  • Performance obligations of the contractor
  • Delivery and cooperation obligations of the customer
  • Changes in the construction work
  • Remuneration and payment
  • Acceptance and final invoice
  • Delay and defects
  • Resignation, cancellation and termination
  • Property regulations, liability for property damage and personal injury, general dispute settlement rule

It should also be noted that the Norwegian model contracts are regularly reissued or revised, so that it shall be checked exactly which revision of the standard contract is available and whether a more up-to-date or more specific version may be used.

All these contract patterns do not apply automatically. Rather, the contracting parties must expressly agree to their validity. For this purpose, it is sufficient if the contracting parties refer to the respective contract template to be used.