– Legal status of scientific diving

Norway has implemented the most restrictive rules and legislations within Europe, perhaps also on a worldwide basis. According to Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, only commercial diving licenses are approved from 2021, i.e. “klasse A” for easy diving and “klasse B” for working with heavier instruments under water. More information is available here: https://www.arbeidstilsynet.no/tema/dykking/ . As of now, the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority does not provide any information in English about diving on their homepage though. Whether international scientific and/or other work dive certifications are allowed in Norway is under discussion. Whether EU dive certifications should be allowed or not is also debated, and it is unclear whether restrictions on EU dive certifications is in accordance with EU legislations or not. For questions regarding legislations, please contact the authorities directly: post@arbeidstilsynet.no.

A dive team need to consist of at least 4 persons, where 3 persons have a “klasse A” Norwegian working dive certificate or higher. One of these persons also need to have a course in dive teal leading, focusing on rescue operations. For questions regarding this course or validation of international courses, please contact the authorities directly: post@arbeidstilsynet.no. No information is available from the authorities in English as of today.

– Medical examinations

Medical examinations obtained in other countries apply also in Norway, as long as they are conducted by doctors approved having diving as a specialty, the same as applies for Norwegian doctors. The examinations for professional diving are generally valid for 12 months. A list of approved doctors can be found here: https://www.fylkesmannen.no/globalassets/fm-rogaland/dokument-fmro/helse-og-sosial/oversyn-og-statistikk/dykkerleger.pdf There are very few international doctors on this list.

– Insurance

If you are employed to dive by a Norwegian employer, they have an accident insurance, but you must check that this insurance also covers diving. If you are acting as a volunteer, or self-employed, you need to arrange your own insurance. All companies conducting work dives need to register at the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.

– Decompression issues

Diving computers are generally used during dives. Only dives without planned decompression stops are allowed within normal scientific diving.

 – First Aid

All SD team members should be familiar with all first aid equipment available and needed, including oxygen administration to diving accident casualties. All scientific divers should conduct regular emergency exercises.

 – Breathing gas

Air diving limit for professional scientific diving is dependent on the risk assessment and the divers’ qualification. The “klasse A” certificate allows diving down to 30 meters with air. Diving below 18m and in confined spaces has to be conducted with surface air supply.

– Volunteers

Volunteers are in general not allowed to join SD teams. However, non-employed divers with correct certification may join (e.g. students) if accepted by the dive mission leader and institute.

– More information

The legislation for scientific diving in Norway is the same as for any kind of working diving in Norway: https://www.arbeidstilsynet.no/tema/dykking/ Unfortunately, the authorities have not made much of this (if any) information available in English. For questions regarding legislations, please contact the authorities directly: post@arbeidstilsynet.no