Manchester United confirms that it has agreed to the termination of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s contract with immediate effect.

Everyone at the club would like to thank Zlatan for his contribution to the team since his arrival and wishes him well for the future.

Zlatan posted on his Instagram page shortly after the news and said: “Great things also come to an end and it is time to move on after two fantastic seasons with Manchester United.

Thank you to the club, the fans, the team, the coach, the staff and everybody who shared with me this part of my history. #foreverred”

Here you can see Zlatan Ibrahimovics 30 strikes for Manchester United in less than one season: All of Zlatans 30 goals

It would be fair to state that Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a bigger impact in a short space of time than any other player in Manchester United’s history.

The fact the Swedish striker has only had one full season in the red shirt, top scoring and helping to bring three trophies to the club, means he is pretty unique in his achievements in a limited time at Old Trafford.

Considering Zlatan made 30 goals in 53 appearances for the club, and 10 off those were off the bench, when focusing on ex-Reds with so few matches, it becomes clear he stands alone in his influence and output.

The centre-forward’s 30 strikes in his first season meant his goal average among this group of players may have been bettered by three individuals, even if each man failed to win any medals at the club.

When looking at the official records, it becomes quite apparent Zlatan Ibrahimovic could stand alone for his short-term contribution to Manchester United. History will show his one full season in red was a clear success and one that will be remembered fondly. One wonders what he might have achieved but for the serious knee injury sustained against Anderlecht, which so severely restricted his output.

Yesterday I was invited by the UK House of Commons, Exiting the European Union Committee as wotness to discuss my ideas on Border Solutions post-Brexit.

The hearing was held in Whitehall, Portcullis House – a suitable place for a dialogue on Customs matters.

Last November I presented a report ’SmartBorder 2.0’ outlining a model for the new EU-UK border post-Brexit for the European Parliament.

Some of the questions from the MPs of the House of Commons Commitee were related to the proposals in the EP report, which has been called a blueprint by British media.

It was a great experience and I am proud to have been invited to this distinguished Committee.

The hearing was broadcasted live by BBC.

As I said in my final comment to the Committee, I believe that everybody that can contribute to good solutions in this complicated solution – should do so. If UK Government wants me and my colleagues involved when going forward, I will be honored to offer my experience, knowledge and ideas.

Here is a link to hearing: Lars Karlsson in the House of Commons

What are the most popular commodities of global trade? What is in the millions of air- road- and seacontainers moving around iur world every day?

Here are the good categories, along with the total dollar value and percentage of total exports that each category represents on the global market.

This list is showing the most traded goods/products. Interesting read.

Andrew Baxter, managing director at UK-based freight forwarder Europa Worldwide Group, has in an article in AirCargoNews described my report to the European Parliament “SmartBorder 2.0” as “sensible and positive progress” towards a workable solution.

Here is the link to the article: Aircargonews

On the third and final day of the conference WCO organized a round table discussion. A panel of AEO experts were asked to summerize the conference and to outline the way forward under the title ’What is the future for Trusted Trader Regimes including AEOs and MRAs’.

Participating in the round table future talk

The panel concluded that we are already seeing a new AEO paradigm taking shape and that it is ”Time for AEO 2.0”.

Time for AEO 2.0

Important advice to take away from this high-level discussion was:

  • Upgrade old AEO legacy systems,
  • Develop national MRA models,
  • Transfer focus from accreditation/validation to monitoring/management,
  • Update benefit programmes, “make it worth while for business”,
  • Include a SME track on the programmes,
  • Get AEO system support,
  • Expand AEO/TTP to other border agencies
  • Watch out so we are not creating a spagetti bowl of bilateral AEO MRAs,
  • start to measure all outcomes from AEO, AEO MRA and TTP (speed, predictability, services, costs).

A final comment, that I also made during the panel round table – AEO, AEO MRA and TTP is the future. It will be the platform for Trusted Trade Lanes, eCommerce and Blochchain applications.

If you want to be a part of the bew global value chains – become an AEO/Trusted Trader. You are in good comapny: in a few years there will more than 100.000 AEO companies in the world.

This week the World Customs Organization (WCO) together with the host Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) organized the 4th Global AEO Conference in Kampala, Uganda – following Seuol 2012, Madrid 2014 and Cancun 2016.

More than 1100 decision makers and experts, Government and Private Sector, from all around the world (95 countries) joined for three days to discuss Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and Trusted Trader Programmes (TTP) as well as Mutual Recognition of these programmes.

Great crowd of 1100 plus attending the event

The conference had high level participants from 95 countries, leaders and expert gathered to discuss the future of AEO, MRA and Trusted Trader Programmes.

The conference was opened by the President of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda, opening the 2018 Global WCO AEO Conference in Kampala.

This was in my mind the best Global WCO AEO Conference arranged so far with an excellent agenda and programme.

The panels was of a high quality level and many of the workshops were excellent. There is no doubt that AEO, MRA and TTP now has taken off globally.

The new elements discussed were areas like;

  • new programmes,
  • broadening of programmes to include more stakeholders of the supply chain (like Freezones),
  • new types of system and software support for AEO/TTP managment (both for Governments and Private Sector),
  • Single Window – AEO/TTP integration,
  • AEO SME initiatives,
  • movement from focus on accreditation/validation to monitoring /management, new types of benefits,
  • the importance of measurement and KPIs for benefits, and
  • development of regional AEL programmes, and
  • The experience of new integrated programmes using coordinated border management (CBM) to create a Single Government AEO status.

For me the last element ‘Single Government AEO programmes’, where Single Window and AEO are merged to an integrated AEO programme covering all border agencies – is maybe the most interesting topic.

After our workshop on ‘Safe,Safer – The SafeZone Concept for FreeZones”

In one of my four speeches during the event I presented the latest research in the area of AEO/MRA and TTP. In the PhD work I have identified 4 new AEO megatrends:

1. Regional AEOs/TTPs

2. Border Agency Coordination – Single Government AEO Status

3. SupplyChain coverage

4. Bilateral Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs)

Delivering a workshop on AEO/MRA/TTP global trends

My three words summary of the 4th Global WCO AEO Conference: development, innovation and progress.

It was special to have the event in Africa and there could be no better place to organize a Global AEO conference than in Kampala. Uganda has one of the best AEO programmes on the continent and it can be compared with any programme globally.

The Uganda AEO programme has been developed under the leadership of URA Customs Commissioner, Dicksons Kateshumbwa. Katesh is pioneer for AEO in Africa. He was also the host of the AEO Conference.

With Uganda Customs Commissioner Dicksons ‘Katesh’ Kateshumbwa, an old friend of mine

In addition East African Community (EAC) has, with help from WCO and Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA), developed an excellent regional AEO programme. I was a part of starting this process once during my years as WCO Director Capacity Building. To se it now fully operational and constantly developing is amazing. EAC signed during the Conference an AEO MRA with Korea.

EAC AEO certified companies on the main stage

15 East African Community companies received their certifications for the East African Community (EAC) regional AEO programme. A landmark for a great AEO programme in Africa.

With one of the newly certified companies, Farmers Choice Ltd from Kenya. Congrats!

We in KGH were sponsors of the event and we had a stand at the Exhibition. We also delivered three workshops and I participated in the final debate on the Future of AEO, TTP and MRA.

Here one of our experts, Mr. Mohamed Raafat from our Dubai Office

KGH is the global market leader on AEO-MRA/TTP and we have worked with more than 40 of the AEO/TTP programmes that exists today. We have the last years designed, developed and implemented ten programmes and we are for the moment working with eight different countries.

KGH – Global Market Leader on AEO, MRA and Trusted Trader Programmes

The next Global WCO AEO Conference was announced during the event and it will held in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2020.

Suoud Al Agroobi, Head of International Affairs of UAE Federal Customs Authority announces that they are hosting the Global AEO Conference in The United Arab Emirates.

The organization of the conference was excellent, absolutely top class. The arrangements and hospitality from our hosts Uganda Revenue Authority was indeed outstanding. Thank you URA!

During the event I met hundreds of colleagues and friends from all around the world.

With the Chairperson of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Dr. Enrique Canon, Enrique is also the Director of Customs in Uruguayo

Finally I want to send my gratitude to the WCO and to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) for organizing this wonderful event. The conference took AEO – which is also one of the pillars of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement – to a new level.

This months it is exactly 20 years since we designed the first ever draft version of a Trusted Trader and AEO programme in Sweden 1998.

It was very emotional and amazing for me – on a personal level – to see so many distinguished experts discuss the instrument I and my team once developed in Sweden in the late 90s.

See you all in Dubai.