Lars Karlsson is one of the most well-known customs leaders in the world and he has an extensive background of 30 years in Customs and international trade policy. Mr. Karlsson has outstanding experience from Government and Private Sector strategic and operational leadership, management, capacity building, reform and modernization.
In 2005 Karlsson was elected as the first Director for Capacity Building of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and served a five years term leading capacity building, reform and modernization projects in more than 120 countries.
In the WCO he spearheaded initiatives as the Columbus programme for implementation of the SAFE FoS and in addition programs like e.g.; PICARD, Accredited Experts, Leadership and Management (LMDP), the language fund (extending the number of working languages), Integrity and Anti-Corruption, the Global Dialogue on Customs Capacity Building for donor coordination and the Learning/e-Learning initiative.
Before joining the WCO Lars Karlsson had a long-standing career in top management of Swedish Customs serving as Director of Customs, (act) Deputy Director General, National Director ICT & Development, Regional Director and in many other roles. He is the architect and pioneer behind the 1st AEO/TT programme in the world, the Stairway Concept and other global concepts as; Single Window, One-Stop-Shop, Paperless Customs and Green Corridor. During his career he has spearheaded Customs and Business Cooperation and has been able to build personal experience from both sectors.