Disposal means that archive material that has been subject to case handling or been of value as documentation is removed from the archive and deleted or destroyed.

Section 9(c) of the Archives Act sets out provisions which state that archive material cannot be disposed of except pursuant to regulations or with the specific consent of the Director General of the National Archival Services. The ban on disposal in the Archives Act takes precedence over provisions concerning disposal in or pursuant to other laws. Notwithstanding this, the Norwegian Data Inspectorate may make decisions concerning the deletion of personal data pursuant to Section 29 of the Personal Data Act. However, such deletion can only be carried out after a statement has been obtained from the Director General of the National Archival Services.

Material covered by provisions concerning preservation cannot be discarded without the permission of the Director General of the National Archival Services. ‘Preservation’ means that archive material is retained for the future and transferred to an archival repository. Section 3-20 of the Archives Regulation sets out specific obligatory requirements concerning preservation.

Disposal is an irreversible action. No form of deletion or other disposal may take place without special thorough case preparation, in order to eliminate the possibility of material that should have been retained being unintentionally disposed of.

It is stressed that disposal must not be confused with archive limitation.