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Swedish Customs needs to improve intelligence activities to make its controls more effective

Swedish Customs lacks detailed knowledge of smuggling to Sweden. In addition, the agency’s work in obtaining and managing intelligence is inadequate. In combination, this leads to reduced effectiveness of control activities.

Truck on bridge on the way to Sweden.

Photo: Andreas Kindler

The Swedish NAO has audited whether Swedish Customs has designed their control activities effectively.

“Swedish Customs has a difficult task to be carried out with limited resources. The audit shows that Swedish Customs has not obtained sufficient data to ensure that measures are directed at areas where they are most useful,” says Auditor General Stefan Lundgren.

To conduct accurate control activities Swedish Customs needs a good knowledge of what is smuggled, how it is smuggled and in what quantities. This knowledge needs to be improved, in particular as regards illegal importation of weapons.

The audit also identifies deficiencies in Swedish Customs’ intelligence activities – both how intelligence is obtained and how it is managed in the context of control activities.

“Intelligence activities need increased opportunities for methodological development and concerted action. In addition, the agency should ensure that the most important intelligence leads to controls,” says Henrik Allansson, project leader for the audit.

Another problem is that Swedish Customs has been given less opportunity to use passenger data from airlines to identify smugglers. The reason is that airlines’ connection to the new digital system, administered by the Police Authority, is slower than expected.

“This situation makes it more difficult for Swedish Customs to stop importation of illegal goods. The Government should therefore take measures to speed up connection of the airlines,” says Auditor General Stefan Lundgren.

Recommendations

The Swedish NAO recommends that Swedish Customs:

  • Increases knowledge of smuggling, improves its cost-benefit calculations and clarifies the role of strategic intelligence activities.
  • Improves conditions for methodological development and concerted action in intelligence activities, as well as the possibility of evaluating results of intelligence.
  • Ensures that the most important intelligence leads to controls.
  • Evaluates and develops control activities related to firearms.

A recommendation is also given to the Government to take steps to hasten the connection of airline companies to the new system for processing passenger data and to examine the possibilities of improving the control potential of border security.

Press contact: Olle Castelius, phone: +46 8-5171 40 04.

Presskontakt: , telefon: 08-5171 42 06.

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Updated: 08 May 2019

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