Lars Karlsson is CEO and Managing Director of KGH Global Consulting. KGH is an international border consultancy company with 750 experts in 40 offices in 12 countries. KGH has Government clients in more than 50 countries and more than 14.000 private sector clients, from multinationals to SMEs.
Lars Karlsson is also one of the most well-known customs leaders in the world and has an extensive background over three decades in Customs and international trade policy. Mr. Karlsson has outstanding experience from Government capacity building, private sector consulting, research, reform and modernization.
Before joining KGH, Mr. Karlsson was Director of the Word Customs Organization (WCO) and prior to that Deputy Director General and Managing Director of Swedish Customs. As the first Director of the WCO Capacity Building Directorate Lars Karlsson lead the work of developing and implementing the SAFE Framework of Standards and the Columbus programme, as well as introducing WCO programmes like e.g; the PICARD Academic programme, e-learning and leadership development programme. During his time in Swedish Customs he was the architect behind the Authorized Economic Operator concept, the first AEO model and the first Single Window. He has worked with AEO design, development and implementation in 45 countries.
He presently serves as Senior Advisor on Customs and Security matters to Governments in more than ten countries, including Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, UAE the United States.
In 2017 Lars Karlsson was commissioned by the European Parliament Constitutional Committee to write a report on technical possibilities for border solutions in the post-Brexit environment: SmartBorder 2.0, what is now the basis for the UK so called MaxFac Border solution. Since then he has also testified about the report and how to design the future UK-EU borders to the UK House of Commons, Exiting the EU Committee and to the UK House of Lords, External Affairs Committee.
Lars Karlsson has written several books and academic articles on Customs and Trade topics. He is a respected speaker and conference chairperson, having visited 164 countries and have worked in 120 around the world.
In 2001 Lars Karlsson received Her Royal Highness the Swedish Crown Princess’ Gothia Prize for the best innovation of the year. In 2003 Lars Karlsson was nominated as Swedish Manager of the Year.
In 2016 Lars Karlsson was awarded a Doctor of Education (Honoris Causas) by Charles Sturt University, Australia.
Lars Karlsson holds a Masters in International Customs Law and Administration.
Mr. Karlsson is an honorary fellow of the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU) and is Member of the International Advisory Board of International Network of Customs Universities (INCU).