Sweden joined the European Union in 1995, which meant we also became a member of the EU Customs Union. This means that in principle, our customs regulations are the same as those that apply to the European Union as a whole.
Swedish Customs has a wide ranging international involvement in trade issues, not least within the framework of the EU. On the international stage, Swedish Customs seeks to simplify the rules and legislation applicable to trade. It is primarily through various committees in the EU Commission addressing subjects such as trade and tariffs that we have opportunities to influence the decision making. Within the EU, extensive development work is carried out within the customs area, the so-called e-Customs project, to modernise and homogenise both legislation and working methods. Swedish Customs is also a member of another important organisation that works with customs issues at a global level, the World Customs Organization (WCO).
We are also dependent on well-developed international cooperation to prevent illegal activities and to combat large-scale and organised crime. Through the Nordic Police and Customs Cooperation Swedish Customs officers have direct contact with personnel throughout the world. Swedish anti-crime authorities cooperate with their Baltic region colleagues in combating organised crime. Swedish Customs also actively participates in Europol in the Haag, where we have a liaison officer in place. We have other liaison officers strategically located in other countries and with other authorities to provide valuable information and intelligence. The European Anti-Fraud Office, OLAF, is another organisation we work closely with to combat various forms of financial crime, such as pirated goods.