News and analysis from the exciting world of Border Management.
  KGH Border Services News
 Issue no. 9


In this issue you can read about the freedom of transit, the holy grail of Customs ICT and a new book release!

In this issue

Dear Reader,   

2013 has started in full speed. The world is still suffering from the aftermath of the Global Financial Crises, but world trade is starting to recover and it is vital for the financial recovery of the world.

As all of you know, Customs play a major role for efficiency of world trade. There is no doubt that we have already started to see an increased interest for Customs reform and modernization, adding on to the already existing initiatives from organizations like the World Customs Organization. I am talking about the Columbus programme, the Revenue Package (RP) and the Economic Global Competitiveness Package (ECP).

We in KGH Border Services, are happy to be able to support this trend. Over the last months we have been awarded a number of new contracts to deliver state-of-the-art solutions for Customs on different parts of the world, including i.e. development and implementation of AEO systems and Single Window solutions. These are two of our key knowledge and experience areas. We have done it in the past many times. We know what works and what doesn’t.

I can also see an increased focus on getting quick wins and fast results on the ground. This is a healthy trend that I fully support. It is naturally very important to demonstrate fast results and we always include an action plan in our project plans on how to create short term results.    

It is unfortunately known that many projects focus only on long term success, which naturally is important - but the disregard for short term impact on the operational results of the organization sometimes makes it impossible to reach the end of the rainbow. The projects drifts in time, political will and leadership changes and the projects die. No long term – or short-term – results have been achieved.

It is my opinion and I have seen it in practice many times, that Customs Modernization projects need to focus on project activities that have a major impact from an outside perspective. Well planned project activities need to deliver real results generating short, medium and long-term impact on the operational result. This means that the defined sequence of the project is essential. In fact it is a specific professional skill to sequence a project in the optimal way, a skill that more people writing tenders should acknowledge and include in their prospects.

It is consequently necessary in all modernization projects to prioritize an element of “quick wins” and “low hanging fruit”, which could be defined as results that have a direct short-term impact on the operational results. It is well known that “quick wins” creates:

a) political momentum,     
b) a result based project culture with real operational results on the ground, and
c) a drive for longer term reform, which steers the modernization project towards success.  

A project, designed with the optimal sequence – and with defined quick wins - have a lot of positive upsides.
  • When political decision makers see early results they give more support (political momentum),
  • When people in the organization see operational results, they will accept the rest of the project as important,
  • When new (and measured) positive results are presented, it also generates other changes within the organization – a change culture - and this gives more capacity building.
I am convinced that this year will be a great year for Customs capacity building. We in KGH Border Services will play our part in the modernization of Customs around the world, supporting the recovery of world trade. If you need any help, you know where to find us.
I am looking forward to see you on the road. 

Lars Karlsson
KGH Border Services

Freedom of Transit

Generally speaking a coastal country is likely to have a GDP that is significantly higher than the landlocked neighbour. This the reason why transit regimes and access to the sea and trade routes are so important.
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Is there a holy grail for Customs ICT?

Every now and then Customs and Border Management administrations come to a point where their IT architecture needs significant changes for different reasons. This introduces a lot of challenges when deciding the direction and investments needed when it comes to ICT. The key question often boils down to: which ICT solution is the best and most cost efficient for our needs and how should the transformation be done? 
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New Book Release!

Lars Karlsson, President of KGH Border Services and former Director of Capacity Building of the World Customs Organization and Director of Swedish Customs, has previously written the book “The Stairway, Management of an Authorised Secure Supply Chain. Capacity Building for a Customs Environment in a Changing Worldabout how to successfully develop and implement an AEO concept. The book is very popular, translated to Russian and Azeri, and has so far been distributed in more than 12.000 copies around the world. Now it is time for a new book to be published by Lars Karlsson.
Read more

Other recent news from our website

KGH provide training for UNDP in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
EU joins forces with WTO on trade facilitation
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