CV

  • Lars Karlsson is one of the most well-known customs leaders in the world and he has an extensive background of 30 years in Customs and international trade policy. Mr. Karlsson has outstanding experience from Government and Private Sector strategic and operational leadership, management, capacity building, reform and modernization.
  • In 2005 Karlsson was elected as the first Director for Capacity Building of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and served a five years term leading capacity building, reform and modernization projects in more than 120 countries.
  • In the WCO he spearheaded initiatives as the Columbus programme for implementation of the SAFE FoS and in addition programs like e.g.; PICARD, Accredited Experts, Leadership and Management (LMDP), the language fund (extending the number of working languages), Integrity and Anti-Corruption, the Global Dialogue on Customs Capacity Building for donor coordination and the Learning/e-Learning initiative.
  • Before joining the WCO Lars Karlsson had a long-standing career in top management of Swedish Customs serving as Director of Customs, (act) Deputy Director General, National Director ICT & Development, Regional Director and in many other roles. He is the architect and pioneer behind the 1st AEO/TT programme in the world, the Stairway Concept and other global concepts as; Single Window, One-Stop-Shop, Paperless Customs and Green Corridor. During his career he has spearheaded Customs and Business Cooperation and has been able to build personal experience from both sectors.
  • Lars Karlsson is also the originator of the Swedish Customs Future Center for innovations and trend analysis and he served as permanent member of the Swedish e-Government and e-Commerce Board 1999-2005
  • Lars Karlsson was Swedish Government’s representative in the EU Customs Policy Group 2001-2005. He served as senior policy advisor in the Balcans in the 90s and lead EU Task Force on Risk Management 1995-1998 and EU Monitoring Actions on Transit 1996-1999
  • In 2012, Lars Karlsson was nominated and accepted to join as global expert on the US Advisory Board of the Global Summit on Borders and in 2015 he was invited as Senior International Advisor to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • He is also a Member of the Advisory Board of the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU). The Advisory Board provides strategic advice to the INCU Management Committee in relation to academic standards and customs professional requirements
  • Lars Karlsson has written several books on Customs topics and his articles have been published in various international academic and scientific publications including the World Customs Journal. He is a well known respected speaker and conference chairperson, having visited 163 countries and worked in more than 120 countries around the world
  • In 2001 Lars Karlsson received Her Royal Highness the Swedish Crown Princess’ Gothia Prize for the best innovation of the year for the Stairway Concept, the first Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programme in the world
  • In 2003 Lars Karlsson was nominated as Swedish Manager of the Year
  • He is currently, since 2012, working as Executive President and CEO of KGH Border Services, an international company working with modern and smart solutions for Customs, Trade and Border solutions. KGH has 35 offices in 12 countries with 700 employees
  • Lars Karlsson was in August 2016 conferred a Doctor of Education (honoris causa) by Charles Sturt University, Australia 
  • He holds a Masters Exam in International Customs Law and Administration from Canberra University
  • He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in International Customs Law and Administration from University of Canberra
  • Lars Karlsson also have University studies in Management, ICT and Environmental Scanning
  • He was the first Honorary Fellow of the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU)
  • Lars Karlsson speaks Swedish, English and French
  • Lars Karlsson is planning to return to Government Service after his period in private sector