Legal Deposits FAQ

Who is required to send legal deposit copies?
There are three main groups who are responsible under the Legal Deposits Act for sending deposit copies:
1. Printers/Duplication Firms that print, photocopy, or otherwise duplicate publications intended for distribution to the public or to a large, limited audience. The company that received the assignment (for printing, etc.) is responsible for the deposit, even if the material is finished by another company (such as a bookbindery).

2. Publishers that print a publication abroad, publish electronic documents like CD-ROMS, or publish “combined material” (a printed document packaged with a DVD or comparable) or multimedia, videograms and phonograms.

3. Distributors that distribute a significant number of copies in Sweden of a publication produced abroad. Legal deposits are required only if the publication has a Swedish connection.

Who is supposed to send the legal deposit copy if a subcontractor is used?
The person or company identified as the printer in the publication must send in deposit copies.

Where should deposit copies be sent?
Deposit copies must be sent to:

  • The National Library of Sweden
  • Lund University Library
  • Göteborg University Library
  • Linköping University Library
  • Stockholm University Library
  • Umeå University Library
  • Uppsala University Library

Can I get the libraries’ addresses?
We give out legal deposit addresses only to those who are legally responsible for deposits. See the question about mailing addresses on the web pages below. Different regulations applies to audiovisual media.

Why aren’t the libraries’ mailing addresses provided on your web pages?
Since we pay the postage for legal deposits, we want to ensure that only those who are actually legally responsible for doing so send deposit copies. We also want to avoid duplicating the administration of incoming publications. If you have questions about legal deposit procedures, please contact the Swedish ISBN Agency by phone at +46 (0) 8 – 463 42 00 or e-mail to plikt[atsign]

Can I send all seven deposit copies to the National Library?
No. By law, you must send one copy to each of the seven depository libraries.

Can I obtain preprinted labels?
Yes, if you are required to send deposit copies. Contact the Swedish ISBN Agency by phone at +46 (0) 8 463 42 00 or e-mail to plikt[atsign]

How often should deposit copies be sent?
Once per quarter. Large-volume suppliers are welcome to send material more often.  

If your production volume is small, you may make an agreement with us to send deposit copies less often. Please call us at +46 (0) 8 - 463 42 00 to discuss the matter. Different regulations applies to audiovisual media. Contact: Forskarservice forskarservice[atsign], phone: +46 (0) 8 783 37 50 or +46 (0) 8 783 37 51.

Why do I have to send a deposit packing list with the shipment?
Is there a deposit packing list template available?
By law, a deposit packing list, in duplicate, must accompany the shipment. The packing list also works as a receipt, and one copy will be returned to you. See the template for drafting a deposit packing list.

Are deposit copies required for print-on-demand publications? 
Yes, deposit copies are required from the first production run, and regardless of the size of the edition, you should take out the deposit copies immediately. If you print more than 30 copies of the publication, you must send seven deposit copies. If you print fewer than 30 copies, you must send two deposit copies.

If you print additional copies using the same producer, with no changes to the cover or contents, you are not required to send additional deposit copies.

Should we submit publications, even though we only print forms?
Some printed matter is exempt from the legal deposit requirement, such as forms that do not contain other information, business cards, printed packaging material, and labels. 

If you are unsure about what applies to your print production, send the material to us for assessment. Remember that legal deposits are required for ephemera, club/association printing, annual reports, and product catalogs.

Sending seven deposit copies is financially impossible when every copy is so costly to produce. Can I get an exemption?
You may request an application for an exemption from Legal Deposits Manager Boel Larsson by phone at +46 (0) 8 - 463 40 33 or e-mail according to

Why do you want deposit copies from the printer, when I could send them myself?
By law, printers/duplication firms in Sweden are responsible for sending deposit copies of what they produce. Handling gifts from the publishers entails extra work for depository libraries.

What should I do if my printer refuses to submit deposit copies?
Remind them that they are required by law to submit deposit copies. If the problem remains, please call the Digital Library Section at +46 (0) 8 - 463 42 00 (weekdays 9:00 am - 12:00 pm).

According to the Legal Deposit Act, deposit copies are required if a publication is produced for a large, limited audience.  What is considered a large, limited audience?
Examples of a large limited audience include church congregations, conference attendees, and concert audiences. You could compare a “large limited audience” to a club or association open to anyone who is interested versus a closed club open to new members only upon recommendation or by invitation.

This is an internal publication – should we send deposit copies?
Deposit copies should be sent only of publications that are generally distributed. In order to judge whether or not a publication is generally distributed, we need to know how it is distributed.

For instance, an employee magazine distributed in the workplace is an internal publication, and thus exempt from the legal deposit requirement. But employee magazines that are mailed to employees’ homes are considered generally distributed, since the publication may be read by several members of the household, which means legal deposits are required.

Club/association magazines or comparable intended for members of a club or association open to anyone are considered generally distributed, so legal deposits are required. Club/association magazines or comparable published by a closed club/association that elects its members are not considered generally distributed and deposit copies are not required.

The contents may indicate whether or not the publication is subject to the legal deposit requirement.

Should deposit copies be provided for reprints of a book, even if there have been no changes to the text?
Yes, but only two deposit copies are required. They must be sent to the National Library and Lund University Library.

Is an imprint really required?
Yes. It is required by the Swedish Freedom of the Press Act and confers constitutional protection.

Who has the right to set an imprint on the publication?
The person/company that was given the printing assignment, even if the assignment is handed over to a subcontractor. The person/company that was given the assignment may delegate his right to the subcontractor. The person/company that has set the imprint must also send in the deposit copies.

What applies to legal deposits of electronic documents?
As yet, the Legal Deposits Act applies only to printed publications and certain electronic documents in physical form, such as CD-ROMs and floppy disks. Send one deposit copy of electronic documents that store text and pictures in non-moving form to each depository library. One single copy of legal deposits of multimedia, videograms and phonograms should be sent to National Library. The publisher is responsible for legal deposits of this type of documents.

Why aren’t online publications stored at the National Library?
As it stands, the law does not apply to online publications.

Should deposit copies be sent when no Swedish publisher is identified, if the publications were printed abroad but the edition (or part of the edition) is distributed in Sweden?
This must be determined on a case-by-case basis. If the text is published in Swedish, it may indicate that the publication was primarily intended for Swedish distribution.

If the publication was published abroad, legal deposits are nevertheless not required. Instead, the publication is considered Suecana (foreign-produced material with a Swedish connection).

Is there a connection between legal authorization to publish and the legal deposit requirement?
If a periodical has been granted – or could be granted – legal authorization to publish by the Swedish Patent and Registration Office, the authorization indicates that the publication is intended for distribution in Sweden. Consequently, the publication is subject to the legal deposit requirement.

I want to withdraw my deposit copies. What should I do?
We do not return legal deposits, but a publication may be blocked from circulation.

What are the consequences of failure to send deposit copies?
The National Library has the right to fine legal deposit suppliers who fail to perform their obligations.

Last updated: 2010-02-04
Contact person: Boel Larsson, e-mail:
Stairway to the Annex at the National Library

National Library