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Anders Ygeman is no longer a government minister, Minister for Home Affairs
Agreement concluded on US preclearance at Stockholm Arlanda Airport
On 4 November 2016, Minister for Home Affairs Anders Ygeman and US Ambassador Azita Raji signed an agreement on US preclearance at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Negotiations on the agreement had been ongoing since mid-2015.
The United States is seeking preclearance at several foreign airports. In May 2015, Stockholm Arlanda Airport was chosen as one of ten airports around the world to be considered for US preclearance. One aim of US preclearance at Arlanda is to facilitate travel between Sweden and the US, both for the business sector and private individuals.
Negotiations to set up US preclearance at Arlanda began in the middle of last year. The Ministry of Justice and the Division for Criminal Cases and International Judicial Cooperation were responsible for the negotiations. Since the agreement concerns several legal areas, other divisions at the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation were involved in the process.
The negotiations have been conducted with US Customs & Border Protection and the country’s Transportation Security Administration. Alongside the Government Offices, several other stakeholders have been involved, including airport operator Swedavia, which has had a central role. The negotiations have thus involved a range of parties and spheres of interest. Cooperation with US and other Swedish stakeholders has been excellent.
Inquiry on the implementation of agreement on US preclearance
Around the middle of this year, only minor details of the agreement remained to be hammered out. In July 2016, the Government instructed an Inquiry Chair, District Police Commissioner Stefan Mann, to submit proposals on how the agreement could be implemented in Swedish law. The remit entails highlighting and analysing all the issues relevant to enabling the operation of a preclearance facility at Arlanda. The Inquiry Chair will also submit necessary legislative proposals.
The Inquiry Chair is to present his report by 22 June 2017 and the proposals will then be circulated for comment. A government bill would need to be ready by March 2018 to enable adoption by the Riksdag before the summer recess. When the legislative proposals have entered into force, Swedavia will be able to build the preclearance facility at Arlanda.
Facts on preclearance
Preclearance means that US authorities conduct their border controls (immigration, customs and security) on departure rather than on arrival to the United States. The border controls are conducted after security controls and prior to boarding.
More information is available on the Swedavia website: