Customs have been safeguarding our countries and national states for thousands of years. Customs protects the borders.

Initially Customs was there to bring in revenue. I always say that this is a brilliant idea. You draw a line on the gorund and decide that nobody can pass without paying. This is what Customs has done for thousands of years, collecting tax on goods coming into the defined territory. Traditionally this is asafe income model for Governments since the goods will be held until the tax is paid. The only problem is that this model increases the time at the border and this do now allow fast processing. 

Today we know that trade development is the way to society development. For this reason, to increase trade flows and volumes, many countries have reduced tariffs and import/export duties and moved to differnet and more advanced and tax models allowing a faster border crossing. This means that trade facilitation has become a priority for Customs, demanding new and more advanced working metods.

In addition Customs administrations have with time recieved more and more tasks related to restriction of certain goods and products. After the terrorist attacks on 9/11 2001, security became the main priority.

Customs is not the only agency by the border. Many different agencies are normally present by the border and have specific routines, procedures andinspection units/teams to do their clntrols of goods moving in or out of the country. There are examples of coubtries having as many as 40 different agencies at the borders.most countries have maybe 7-10 agencies involved in the process and on/off present at their borders.

This has lead to the Coordinated Border Management concept promoted by international institutions like e.g World Customs Organization and the World Bank. The idea is to find mechanisms for cooperation at the border and thus bring down lead-times for release of goods. wCO alsobhas a specific instrument, the Time Release Study (TRS) that measure bottlemecks and identify time thieves. 

Except in Sweden, where Customs since decades is the only agency at the border, working as executive agency on delegation for the other agencies. This is a unique very efficient border model based on front/back-office principles. 

Other agencies like e.g Agriculture, Health, Immigration etc, are back-office agencies working with legislation, policy, analysis, process improvements, risk managment/targetting and advanced phase II controls. They are not present at the border. Customs is the executing agency doing Cutoms controls and also delegated controls on behalf of the other agencies. All profiles and targetting is done 100% electronically through the Customs Risk Management model/engine and through the Customs IT system. All controls are made by Customs. 

If necessary, goods are transferred for secondary inspections, like laboratory tests or veterinary inspection, with the back-office agency. 

The officers from the involved agencies have common training programmes.

This model created the platform for what is now the leading border concepts inbthe world, namely; Single Window, One-Stop-Shop and AEO. This is why these concepts were originally developed and implemented in Sweden. 

Sweden still has the fastest and safest borders in the world, according to the World Bank. Especially the Sweden-Norway border (the largest out – of several – border crossing is Svinesund) and the bridge to Denmark (Öresund) are famous for the advanced border processing. 

In addition on the Norway – Sweden border there is a unique solution based on an internstional legislation between the two countries to only have one Customs administration at the border. Meaning that it is either a Swedish Customs border station OR a Nowegian Customs border station handling everything for both countries (import for one of the countries and export to the other country, in the same process). This is real border cooridination. 

We have contiously delegations from WB, IMF, EU and countries from all all around the world visiting these borders, where one single agency (Customs) handles the release of goods for not only all agenecies in Sweden and all agencies in Norway, but also for all agencies of the entire European Union – in total a delegation from almost 1000 different agenecies to a single one at the border. 

So if you want to see a seamless top modern border process with 100 % electronic declarations and documentation, a real operational one-stop-shop, a green corridor fast track based on a fully secure supply chain väbased on AEO (no-stop-shop) and release time in avarage under 3 minutes in a totally integrated border solution – then you should visit Sweden. 

This is not a vision, a dream or a project for the future. This solution has been fully functional, operational and implemented since 2001. 

So nothing really is impossible – it just time to make it work the same way everywhere. 

Yesterday United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. This is sad. I am a firm believer in cooperation and in the European cooperation.

However it is also a victory for democracy. Peoples’ vote should be respected. This is very important.

Now we have to see what happens. UK will negotiate to leave the Union, this will take a long time a at least teo years, probably more – and it is a very complicated process. 

The remaining 27 EU countries will now close together to evaluate the consequences. 

The people of UK you are and will always be our friends – sisters and brothers – and you are always welcome back into the union one day, if you so want. Until then, let’s work together.

Today it is our biggest holiday of the year, Midsummer Eve. 

This is a day to spend with family and friends having a smorgasboard of typical Midsummer food and drinks; like e.g; herring, salmon, potatoes, meatballs, strawberries and vodka. 

In Sweden we love Midsummer. This is our holiday – a bridge and tribute to our viking history. 

I wish you all a Happy Midsummer 2016!

So now it is over – UEFA EuroCup 2016. This was a tournament where Sweden were desided to play in a tough group and most people didn’t have too high hopes for this team. However, football is a strange game so you never know. Our chance was to win the first game against Ireland. We got a draw, 1-1. We then lost to Italy after a very close game, where Italy scored 1-0 in the 88th minute. 

UEFA EuroCup 2016 will continue without Sweden

Yesterday Sweden played the last game in EuroCup 2016. In the third group game we played Belgium ranked #2 in the world. It was a very important game. The winner was going through to the knock-out round. The team that lost was out. 

We did our best game of the tournament. We played an equal game with Belgium -and really any of the two teams could have won. 

Four great chances for Zlatan, one correct goal – wrongly disallowed by the referee

Sweden had a correct goal scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic disallowed in the 62th minute. We had a lot of chances. Belgium had many chances too and finally it was Belgium that scored the only goal of the game in the 85th minute of the game, a devastating result for us. Sweden is out.

At D1, row 2 – Allianz Riviera Stadium, Nice

I went to Nice with my son and my brother-in-law. Once a long time ago, in another time and underr difficult circumstances, I promised my son that we would go and see Zlatan play in the national team in a big football tournament. Not I kept my promise. I always keep my promises. 

We were there to see the game at the Allianz Riviera Stadium in Nice, France. 

In front of full stadium we saw a great game and despite the result it was a great experience. I love watching football live.

Talking football with Belgian and Swedish fans in Nice center before the game

Swedish fans and Belgian fans were friends all through. This is what football should be like, we are all part of the same family. We all love football.

Many thousands of Swedish people in Nice

In the stadium – BYW it is a very nice (!) arena – the Swedish fans, owning 2/3s of the stands, won the game against the Belgium fans. 

Sweden has a great fan crowd. Always loyal, always positive.

My son and I at the game in Nice

However this was not only the last game for Sweden in the 2016 EuroCup. It was worse than that. 

This was also the last game in the national team for our captain and best football player ever, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 

Since before Ibra had decided that Swedens’ last game in the EuroCup should also be his last game in the national team.  He has had a fantastic  career in the national team with 116 caps and scoring 62 goals, naturally a Swedish record. 

The best football player in the world

I am devestated that Zlatan Ibrahimovic now will stop playong for Sweden. However, we knew that the day would come. Zlatan has changed Sweden in so many ways, not only football. He is an icon, a symbol – the most well known Swede in the world. I love this player. I am grateful to have lived to see him play.

These were Zlatans word after the last game:

“I came from the place that people call ghetto Rosengård, I conquered Sweden and made it my country. In my own way. I’m Sweden. I want to say a big thank you to the Swedish people – without you it would never have been possible for me to fulfill my dreams. You made me your captain. I will always have a yellow/blue heart. I love you.”

A giant. I miss him already. 

In the shadow of the political turmoil, Brazilian Government agencies are transforming quickly towards international best practices. The Federal Revenue Authority (Receita Federal) and Brazilian Customs is In the forfront of this development. This is very promising for the Brazilian economy and business environment – and necessary since many Brazilian companies have suffered from the crises the last year. 

Brazil, the country of the future

Receita Federal has introduced a new Compliance Managment programme, AEO Brazil – a top modern and leading Authorised Economic Operator programme fully in line with international standards published by World Customs Organization and World Trade Organization. AEO Brazil provides faster, safer, more predictable and less costly processes for import and export. This exactly what Brazil needs to bring the economy back to a higher gear. 

The AEO Brazil programme

So how can the private sector embrace these new changes and utilize the tremendous opportunties provided by the inteoduced new system? 

The Trade Compliance Officer Programme

A new academic model has been introduce to adress this challenge, the Trade Compliance Managment certificate education bringing students to a high ijternstional level of knwoledge and expertise. The first curse of the programme with 30 students from the Brazilian private sector – and also some Customs officers from Receita Federal – started on 18 June. At the end of the year the first students will be graduated from this excellent programme. A number of highly acknowledged professors and tutors from Acadamia, Government and the private sector are attached to the programme.

It is that is the main organizer of the TCO, but also Allianca Procomex and KGH are sponsoring the programme. 

Professor Alexandre Lira from

I am Professor and patron of the TCO academic programme. Don’t miss to sign up for the next programme that starts early next year.

The intention is to offer the programme also to other South American countries over the next time period to come.

Last week I was in Brazil for a number of different meetings and events. On Thursday evening I held a Masterclass on ‘Compliance Management, Security and our new global borders’ at World Trade Center in Sao Paulo. 

The event was the opening session of a new national Trade Compliance Officer (TCO) Certificate Education programme. 

Brazil are taking huge steps forwards on Customs and border processing with iäthe introduction of a top modern Compliance Management programme, AEO Brazil. 

The TCO is a great initiative to also prepare the Brazilian business environment and private sector for the new Compliance Management process. 
The Masterclass was held for the 30 first students of the TCO programme -and for approximately 120 additional invited guests.

It was a wonderful evening and I received very positive feedback for the Masterclass.