Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, best known for his iconic sculpture of a revolver with a knotted barrel displayed outside the UN headquarters in New York, has died aged 81, Swedish officials said on Wednesday.

The artist, who had used a wheelchair after suffering from a stroke in 1989, died eaier this week.

Reuterswärd designed the oversized bronze Colt Magnum .357 with the knotted barrel, entitled “Non Violence”, as a symbol of peace after the assassination of his friend John Lennon, the former Beatle, who was shot dead by Mark Chapman on December 8th 1980.

KGH Border Services is named as peace ambassador in the Global Non Violence Army after donating a significant and important contribution to the Non Violence Project.

The Non Violence Project works to inspire, motivate and engage young people in positive thinking and behavior to make them understand and resolve conflicts without violence. 

IMAGINE A WORLD IN PEACE is a project with individually painted Non Violence revolvers. The Non Violence revolver has inspired politicians, artists and role models throughout the world of sports, music and art – but also children worldwide. This is our copy of the Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr designed Knotted Gun sculpture that was commissioned by the Non-Violence Foundation to commemorate the 31st anniversary of John Lennon’s murder.

Yesterday I was in Denmark for a meeting with Danish Customs colleagues. In the afternoon I took the day off and stayed for a few hours in Copenhagen, a wonderful city. 

Here I am enjoying a typical Danish lunch meal, red sausage (pölse) bread, mustard and tomato. And the nost important thing, a Danish beer from Carlsberg.

Since I have lived by the Baltic Sea entrance and Öresund directly across from Copenhagen most if my life, it has always been great to visit Copenhagen. 

This is Nyhavn (New Harbour) that used to be a rough neighborhood in my youth when we had to take the boat over the sea. Now Nyhavn is a great place full of tourists, but also with some very nice retaurants.

Since it was an extra day between a holiday and the weekend, and great weather, the streets were packed with people and we had a great day in Denmark.

World Economic Forum (WEF) has published an interactive map that shows the scale and complexity of the world’s shipping routes. 

If you’ve ever doubted the scale of shipping around the world, here are 250 million things that will convince you of its sheer size.

Commercial shipping is vital to the movement of goods around the world, and a cornerstone of global trade. As this map from Kiln, a data visualization company, highlights, its complexity and size should not be underestimated.

I love this initiative. Read the article here

Customs compliance is the new black! We have talked about it for a decade already, but the last years we have seen how it works in reality on the ground. 

Today everybody wants compliance. In June KGH Education, together with ICI.BR starts a higher education programme to certify Trade Compliance Officers in Brazil. We have the opening conference and event of the new certification and compliance education programme, where I will give the Key Note Openlng Speech, on June 16 in Sao Paulo.

Customs are designing and implementing new Compliance Management models under the Authorised Economic Operator(AEO) Concept in the World Customs Organization SAFE Framework of Standards. The new AEO programmes are holistic and covering both compliance and security areas combining AEO with Trusted Trader model of WCO Revised Kyoto Convention. Many of those countries that already have AEO programmes are now in the process of updating and upgrading their programmes to AEO-TTP standard. For the moment we are helping seven countries to either design, develop and implement new AEO models or modernize and updating already operational programmes. We are champions and global market leaders on AEO, Trusted Traders and compliance management.

For private sector it is purely about common sense and good business to be compliant. Compliance is about getting better control over process, rules, competence and costs. There are studies showing that compliant companies are 20-25 % more profitable than non-compliant business. 

Compliance is king. So if you want to run a successful business related to international trade in the future, don’t miss this train. It is leaving the station and you should buy a ticket to future success right now. 

Wifi onboard. More and more airlines are introducing opportunities to access the Internet from the cabin while you are flying. It means that you can stay connected, if you want to. You don’t have to – but you can. 

The speed and quality is not there yet, but it will be soon. Some people don’t like it, since the flight cabin up until now has been like a freezone, a safe haven from the usual stress of an ordinary workday. You can still have that – just don’t connect. But this is The future.  As an example all Emirates A380s now have wifi onboard. As said the quality and speed still depends on where the route is going and what countries you are flying over, but these are challenges/problems soon in the past. The technology, as always, improves and this is a service that travellers want. 

For somebody like me, travelling all the world, it is fantastic. I read and write my emails, upload articles to the blog, update  my social media platforms and write text messages to people around the glovöbe while flying. 

It really has happened! The European Union has a new Customs legislation in place. Some people said that it would never happen, but now it has – the Union Customs Code (UCC) is operational. I remember when we started talking about updating the legislation, to develop a new Customs act – and this is when I was still working in the top managment of Swedish Customs many years ago – so it is indeed really something to acknowledge and celebrate. 

On May 1 the new European Union Customs Code entered into force. We have a liftoff! 

It is naturally not an easy process to modernize, upgrade and re-write a piece of legislation for a Customs Union of 28 countries. After all we talk about a Customs Union covering a region with 500 million people and some of the largest trading nations on the planet. 

The Union Customs Code (UCC) is part ofthe modernization of customs and serves as the new framework regulation on the rules and procedures for customs throughout EU and is meant as a natural evolution towards a modern customs environment for which the results and benefits will be grasped only when it will be implemented in its full capacity by the end of 2020. In summary UCC will:

  • Streamline customs legislation and procedures,
  • Offer greater legal certainty and uniformity to businesses,
  • Increase clarity for customs officials throughout the EU,
  • Simplify customs rules and procedures and facilitate more efficient customs transactions in line with modern-day needs,
  • Complete the shift by Customs to a paperless and fully electronic and interoperable environment,
  • Reinforce swifter customs procedures for compliant and trustworthy economic operators (AEO)

The intention is not only to modernize the Customs legislation but also to enhance the competitiveness of European businesses and thereby advance the main goals of the EU strategy for growth and jobs. In addition, the changes envisaged by 2020 will protect the flow of goods transiting or moving in and out of the Union and safeguard the financial and economic interests of the Union and of the Member States as well as the safety and security requirements.

There will be a transition period before full implementation is achieved due to the fact that there is a need to develop new IT systems or upgrade existing ones in order to fully implement the legal requirements. This transition period lasts from May 1 2016 until 31 December 2020 at the latest.

I want to congratulate all the hard working Customs officers and legal experts – I know many of them personally – that have done an enourmous contribution to the Customs community and to world trade over the last decade to pave the way for this new legislation, to negotiate the content and changes, design and develop it, writing the actual texts and to implement this Customs Act. It is a milestone acheivement. 

For the rest of us? It is time to start reading the Customs law, again….well, some of us does that all the time anyway.