SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

WHAT CHANGES IN SWEDEN

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Sweden in March 2022?

A possible end to Covid-19 travel restrictions, the prospect of an electricity rebate, and the all clear for eating delicious semla buns. This is what March has in store for people living in Sweden.

File photo of border police checking passports at Arlanda Airport.
File photo of border police checking passports at Arlanda Airport. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Entry ban for non-EU arrivals to Sweden due to expire
 
On March 31st, Sweden’s last remaining Covid-19 travel restriction, the entry ban for non-EU, or “third country”, arrivals, is due to expire.
 
Until this date, people travelling to Sweden from non-EU/EEA countries cannot enter the country unless they are covered by one of a series of exemptions from the entry ban, such as living in a so-called “exempt country”, having a valid Covid vaccine pass issued by an “approved country”, or being a resident of Sweden.
 
Before booking a trip to Sweden, be aware that ban has previously been extended on multiple occasions, including as recently as the end of January this year, so it is still possible that it could be extended again.
 
Compensation for high electricity prices starts to come into force
 
From March 15th, power network operators will be able to apply to Sweden’s Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet) for financial compensation for the current high power prices on behalf of their customers.
 
Once the agency passes over the funds, network operators will pass on the rebate to households as part of their bills in April and the following months. Here’s our article on whether you’re likely to get a rebate, and how much you can expect to get. 
 
Shorter payment times to small and medium-sized companies 
 
From March 1st, a new law comes into force aimed at reducing the problems small and medium-sized companies in Sweden have in receiving timely payments from larger customers. 
 
The law requires companies with over 250 employees to report to the Swedish Companies Registration Office on the time taken to carry out payments to companies with fewer than 250 employees. 
 
Although the law comes into force in March, companies only need to start keeping a record of their payment times from July 1st, and the first report does not need to be submitted until June 30th, 2023.  
Parents who split must have an ‘information discussion’ before going to court 
 
From March 1st, parents who split up will have to participate in an “information meeting” at their local family court before they can launch legal proceedings over custody and housing for the child, or over who can have access to the child. 
 
This conversation will include information about the current legislation, what interventions can be offered, how an investigation into custody, housing and access is carried out under Sweden’s parental code, and how children can be affected by such conflicts. 
 
Unless one or both of the parents has a special reason to attend the meeting alone – for example if the other parent lives too far away, or if there is a history of violence in the relationship – both parents are expected to attend the meeting.
 
After the meeting, they will receive a certificate, which will allow them to start a court process if at least one of them still feels it is still necessary. 
 
The new law is intended to help separated parents come to a mutual agreement, and so create better conditions for their children. 
 
The clocks go forward 
 
At 2am on Sunday, March 27th, Sweden (along with every other EU country) puts its clocks forward one hour, bringing an end to daylight saving time. A poll in 2018 found two-thirds of Swedes backed an EU proposal to end the practice, but three years later, the EU’s plan appears to have stalled.  
 
You can (officially) gorge yourself on delicious sticky semla buns 
 
Like Christmas decorations, semla buns start appearing in Sweden’s cafés earlier every year. But March 1st, Fettisdagen or “Shrove Tuesday”, is the day when people in Sweden are traditionally supposed to stuff themselves with the cream-filled, almond paste delicacies.
 
To find out what it’s all about, read our guide for Semla connoisseurs

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

WHAT CHANGES IN SWEDEN

Everything that changes in Sweden in July 2022

A new terror law, cash for families and a ban on oil extraction: here are some of the things which change in Sweden this July.

Everything that changes in Sweden in July 2022

Schoolchildren (and most adults) on holiday throughout Sweden 

With schools across Sweden finishing the school year in the last two weeks of June, almost all children in Sweden are on holiday throughout July. Most adults in Sweden also take at least three weeks off in the summer, starting either in the first or second week of July. So if you’re not taking time off, be warned: it can be difficult to get any responses from people you work with, either inside your own company, or in other companies in July. 

Almedalen political festival gives boost to election campaign 

The Almedalen political festival on the island of Gotland will take place from July 3rd to July 7th. The festival, started by the Social Democrat prime minister Olof Palme in 1968, is the highlight of the political calendar in Sweden, and is particularly important during an election year. This year, the leaders of all eight of the Sweden’s parliamentary parties will participate. 

The Local will also be in Visby, Gotland’s capital, for the event to report on the main speeches, and also record a special episode of our Sweden in Focus podcast. 

New rules on sharing refugees between municipalities come in on July 1st 

New rules come into force on July 1st which will see municipalities required to share responsibility for providing accommodation to an estimated 23,500 Ukrainian refugees. The new guidelines have been drawn up to prevent a repeat of the situation in 2015 and 2016, when some municipalities ended up having to house a disproportionately large share of the refugees arriving in Sweden. The motion was voted through by parliament on June 21st. 

New terror law comes into force 

A tougher and simpler terror law comes into force in Sweden on July 1st. The new law removes the limitation period for less serious terror crimes, meaning those suspected of crimes can be prosecuted long after they were committed. It increases the maximum sentence for “associating with a terror organisation” from six to seven years in prison, and it doubles the minimum sentence for “financing, publicly encouraging, recruiting for” terrorism increased from six months to one year. 
 
Farmers can claim tax rebate on diesel 
 
From July 1st, farmers in Sweden can apply for a tax rebate on all diesel they have used between January 1st and June 30th.  The rebate is part of the support package for agricultural companies the government agreed with the Centre Party in April. 
 
Extra payment for families receiving housing benefit 
 
Families with children who are eligible for housing benefit will receive up to 1,325 kronor extra (€124) each month under a measure brought in as part of the spring budget to help people in Sweden deal with the effects of inflation. About 124,000 households in Sweden are eligible for housing budget. 
 
The extra payment for families with housing allowance will apply until the end of December, and will be set at 25 percent of the housing allowance payment received each month. 

Sweden to ban all extraction of coal, oil and natural gas 

From July 1st, Sweden is banning all extraction of coal, oil, and natural gas on its territory. The decision, announced at the Stockholm +50 conference last month, has been criticised as being purely symbolic, as Sweden does not currently produce any of these fuels. 

Most expensive electric cars lose their “climate bonus” 

Electric cars which cost more than 700,000 kronor will no longer receive the government’s climate bonus from July 12th, under changes to the so-called bonus-malus system for cars in Sweden. 

In other changes to the rules, cars fuelled by biogas may also be eligible to receive a bonus, while the bonus payment to companies will be capped to 35 percent of the price difference between the electric car purchased and the the nearest comparable conventional car.

The new rules will also reduce the threshold for CO2 emissions from 60g CO2/km to 50g CO2/km, meaning some petrol and diesel cars which were not penalised previously will now start to be penalised.

SHOW COMMENTS