All the new Swedish laws you should be aware of in July 2023

Richard Orange
Richard Orange - [email protected]
All the new Swedish laws you should be aware of in July 2023
Dancing will be allowed in restaurants without permission. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The start of the second half of the year marks the point where many new laws come into force in Sweden. From the end of the dancing ban to grants for energy efficiency, here are some of the ones you should know about.


The government publishes an updated list of new laws which are coming into force in 2023, which you can find here. We've looked through it to find the most important ones which came into force on July 1st. 


Sweden scraps controversial ‘ban’ on dancing

Parliament voted to scrap a decades-old requirement for a dance permit from July 1st.

Sweden in 1956 brought in a requirement that all restaurants and bars had to apply for and receive a special “dance permit” if their patrons were to be allowed to dance, with their owners facing fines if their customers were found dancing without a permit. But the law, which had changed over the years, has received a lot of criticism.

Now, bars and nightclubs will only have to report dance events to the police, rather than apply for a permit. It won’t cost anything to file the report and it can be done by calling the police.

A permit will still be required to organise dancing in public spaces, such as parks and squares.

Better measures for children suspected of crimes

Children under the age of 15 suspected of carrying out crimes will have the right to have a representative appointed to look after their interests. Children under the age of 15 cannot currently be put on trial and sentenced for a crime, but for serious crimes, such as murder or rape, a so-called bevistalan, or evidentiary action, can be held. This is an alternative to a court and aims to establish their guilt or innocence. 

The new law allows an evidentiary action to consider more than one suspected crime simultaneously and also for a prosecutor to call for the child to be punished through "youth service", a community service order previously only given to those between the ages of 15 and 21. 

Lower age limit for social services to intervene in children's lives 

Social services in Sweden will be able to make decisions on so-called öppna insatser, or "open interventions" in a child's life without the agreement of their parents from the age of 12. The age limit for intervention without parental agreement was previously 15. 

"Open interventions" can include individual support, treatment, and preventative measures, but cannot involve placing the child outside of the family home. 

Municipalities given responsibility for crime prevention 

A new law comes into force this month which requires all municipalities to survey and understand where crime is happening on their territory, and then to draw up a list of required measures, and a plan as to when and how they will be taken. 

Municipalities will also be required to coordinative crime prevention work in their territories and to appoint a person or body responsible for coordinating local crime prevention. 

New tougher penalties for crimes associated with gangs 

Harsher penalties come into force for aggravated unlawful coercion, unlawful threats, robbery, extortion, aggravated extortion, and the sale of narcotics. There will also be a new clause which will lead to harsher punishments for crimes involving violent conflict between criminals.

It will also become a crime to involve people under the age of 18 in crimes or criminal organisations. The threshold for being placed in pre-trial custody is also being reduced. You will now only need to be suspected of a crime carrying a one-and-a-half year prison sentence. Previously it was a two-year sentence. 

Changes to gun laws to take into account EU weapons directive 

Guns sold to private buyers will need to physically marked so that they can be traced back to the seller and buyer if used inappropriately or for crimes. Certain historically valuable antique weapons will be exempted from the requirement. In addition, new regulations are coming in which apply to magazines which can hold a lot of bullets and be used in combination with a semi-automatic weapon. Dealers in second-hand weapons will also now be regulated in the same way as gun shops. 



Temporary tax break for vehicle charging at the workplace 

A new tax exemption comes into force aimed at making it easier for workplaces to provide charging points for their employees' electric vehicles. The new law will mean that charging that takes place at the work place will temporarily not be classed as a "perk of employment" on which the employee can then be taxed. 

Big multinational companies to publish detailed country-by-country tax reports

The EU's public Country-by-Country (CbC) Reporting Directive comes into force in Sweden on July 1st, meaning any large, multinational companies registered in Sweden will need to provide a detailed country-by-country report on how much tax they pay in each country where they operate to the Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket). 

The new rule, which will apply to all companies operating in the EU, is designed to make it harder for companies to minimise their tax by concentrating profits in low-tax countries. 

New powers to block payments to unlicensed gambling companies 

A set of new regulations will start to apply aimed at keeping unlicensed gambling companies out of the Swedish market. Under the law, payment providers will have a duty to develop a more effective system for blocking payments to such companies, while the Swedish Gambling Authority will be empowered to use gambling sites with a hidden identity in order to identify illegal, unlicensed behaviour, and finally, for the authorities to be able to access personal information to combat match-fixing. 


New VAT law comes into force 

A new VAT law comes into force which is intended to simplify the language of Sweden's VAT legislation and bring the terminology in line with that used in the EU's VAT directive. While there are few substantive changes, companies are advised to get in touch with their tax advisor to see if they need to make changes to, for example, invoice references. According to the accounting firm Grant Thornton, the new rules may excuse some non-profit companies from having to declare VAT on services provided internally. 

Temporary extra housing benefit extended and raised 

Poor families eligible for housing benefit will from the start of July receive 40 percent extra housing benefit in order to help them deal with increased living costs due to high inflation. This is increased from the 25 percent extra they received previously. 

Pension age rises from 66 to 67 

The official age at which people in Sweden can go on their pension increase from 66 to 67. The new pension age will stay in place until 2029. 



New grants for increasing energy efficiency of private houses

From July 3rd, a new grant will be available for measures that increase the efficiency of energy use and reduce the power needed to heat rooms and hot water in private houses heated by electricity or gas. 

New gas storage law comes into force 

From the start of July, the company responsible for balancing the gas system in the gas pipeline network in western Sweden will also be responsible for storing a certain amount of gas. This rule change is part of the EU gas storage regulation agreed in June 2022 after the invasion of Ukraine. 



'Assistant nurse' becomes a protected professional title 

A new law comes in meaning no-one will be able to start calling themselves an "assistant nurse" or undersköterska if they have not received a license from the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare. To get the license, an applicant will need to have completed the healthcare programme at upper secondary school level, or be able to show equivalent competence. 

As part of the change, adult education colleges or folkhögskolor which educate assistant nurses will need to meet the same demands as for healthcare education at upper secondary schools or municipal adult education colleges. 

New measures on emergency medical supplies 

After the Coronavirus pandemic revealed serious shortcomings in Sweden's emergency stores of medical equipment such as surgical gloves and masks, a new law comes into force creating a warehousing duty for companies operating pharmacies open to the public, and also a duty of delivery for suppliers of hospitals' in-house pharmacies. 

Sweden's Medical Products Agency will also gain the right to fine pharmaceutical companies which fail to inform it in time if it runs out of a medicine or medical product temporarily or permanently. 

The state-owned pharmacy, Apotek Produktion & Laboratorier AB, has also been given additional duties to maintain its operations in peacetime crises, emergencies and wartime. 

Sweden's Digital Covid pass no longer issued 

From July 1st, it will no longer be possible to be issued a new digital Covid pass in Sweden, as only a few countries worldwide still require a digital Covid pass to enter their territories. 

Students take the högskoleprovet, Sweden's version of SATS. A new law will allow bodily searches before taking the test. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT



Better adapting upper secondary schools to labour market 

A new law comes into force which will require head teachers at upper secondary schools to consider what skills are required by the labour market when they are deciding what courses to offer and the how many places to offer in each course. 

Municipalities are also required to work with at least two other municipalities when they plan what courses to offer at upper secondary school and in adult education and at what scale. 

New simplified grant system for lifelong teacher training 

The five different government regulations covering state funding for continuing education for teachers and pre-school teachers will be simplified under a single scheme. The aim is to make it simpler and more flexible for teachers to receive funding for continuing education. 

Bodily searches allowed for people taking Sweden's version of SATs 

A new law is coming into force allowing people taking the högskoleprovet, Sweden's exam supporting entrance to universities and further education colleges, to be bodily searched before taking their exams. 

Any candidate who refuses to go through a checkpoint on entry or exit from the exam will be denied a result and banned from taking the exam for two years. 



New biobank law comes into force 

A new law comes into force which will allow human biological material from medical tests and other sources to be collected and stored in a so-called "biobank", without requiring the agreement of the person who is the source of the material. The material can be used for healthcare, research, product development, education, quality control or development work. 

New regulation on transferring data protected by secrecy laws between and beyond government agencies 

A new government decision comes into force which will make it easier for government agencies to pass on information which is covered by secrecy rules to either an individual or to another agency which can then analyse or store the data for the benefit of the agency which passes over the data. A piece of information cannot, however, be passed over if this would be inappropriate in the given circumstances.

This does not allow information covered by secrecy rules to be analysed or stored outside of Sweden. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also