Common misunderstandings

Here we clear up common misunderstandings about operations and powers of Swedish Customs. We also explain terms that usually lead to questions.

Our mission

Swedish Customs is a government agency tasked with controlling the flow of goods in and out of Sweden, contributing to a safe society and ensuring competitive neutrality. Our work must ensure that the correct customs duties, taxes and other charges are collected and that restrictions on imports and exports are complied with.

We simplify legal trade and prevent illegal trade by providing smooth customs procedures for foreign trade, easy border passage for travellers and effective border protection.

Read more about the checks we carry out on behalf of other authorities.

Security checks at airports

Security checks at airports are not carried out by Swedish Customs. In Sweden, security checks are carried out by the Swedish Transport Agency and are usually staffed by a security company.

Read more at Transportstyrelsen.se

Internal and external border

The terms ‘internal border’ and ‘external border’ are used In the context of customs controls. By internal border we mean a border with another EU country. An external border is a border with a country outside the EU. We have different powers depending on whether we are working at the internal or external border.

Powers of the police

There are a number of areas where our mission is confused with that of the police. These include passport control, human smuggling, trafficking and the export of stolen cars, which are all the responsibility of the police. But we cooperate with the police, assist them when necessary and notify them if we see anything suspicious.

Read more on Polisen.se

Did you know that the police are responsible for temporary internal border controls, not Swedish Customs? Swedish Customs checks goods at the border, known as customs checks.

Read more about temporary internal border controls and ID checks on the Swedish Police Authority website. 

Import declaration when ordering online

Swedish Customs does not make the customs declarations for purchases over the internet from a country outside the EU. When a person who has ordered something is notified that it is “under customs clearance”, this means that the postal and courier company handles the administration of customs and VAT for the customer.

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