• Sweden edition
 
Swedes toast to cheap alcohol from abroad

Swedes toast to cheap alcohol from abroad

Published: 01 Mar 2011 13:04 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Mar 2011 13:04 GMT+01:00

One third of beer consumed in Sweden is bought from outside the country’s state-run liquor store monopoly Systembolaget as consumers often cross borders or seas in search of lower prices.

Thanks to the strong Swedish krona, alcohol is now at comparably rock-bottom prices at German and Danish border shops.

Last year alcohol sales at German border shops rose by 31 percent compared to 2009, according to calculations from the Swedish Spirits & Wine Suppliers Association (Spirits & Vinleverantörföreningens - SSWS).

This also means an explosion of business for bus operators who run day trips to border towns.

“Some people even book an empty seat, they want more space for what they buy," Mary Lamm, a travel agent with Ramkvilla Bus, told the TT news agency.

According to the association's estimates, individual consumers brought more than 45 million litres of alcohol into Sweden from abroad last year.

The Spirits & Wine Suppliers Association admits that the calculations are made in broad terms, and point out that no one today can confirm exactly how much alcohol is admitted into Sweden.

The rise in demand at border shops has also triggered a higher volume of alcohol exported by the association’s member companies to German border shops, where a large proportion of customers are Swedes.

"Of course our members sell beer where the Swedish consumers are and that is increasingly at the border stores," Frederick Sörbom of Sveriges Bryggerier ('Brewers of Sweden') told TT.

Last year Swedish brewers exported almost 43 million litres of beer to popular border stores, five million more litres than the previous year.

If people bringing alcohol or beer into Sweden can prove their claims that it is only for private use, the policies regarding imports are extremely generous, in principle unlimited.

The lax import regulations have led to the development of networks that buy booze cheap abroad and sell it for a profit back in Sweden.

Anders Tragardh, head of the border protection department in Malmö in southern Sweden, fears that the strong krona could lead to an even greater influx of smuggled alcohol.

“Yes, of course, as the product becomes cheaper, the profits become greater. It can certainly entice more people to smuggle,” he told TT.

TT/The Local/kh (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

16:13 March 1, 2011 by kenny8076
And yet Sweden will continue to sell at ridiculous costs. Look how much money they are loosing. Would rather sell a nominal amount at high prices than a boat load and lower prices.............. this is why they missed out on selling the 31% that went to the German stores, and why 1 in 3 are bought outside Sweden. It blows my mind how they do business here
16:31 March 1, 2011 by zircon
Why not brew it yourself. You can get pissed out of your f... ing mind far more real.
17:04 March 1, 2011 by beeker
I agree with zircon. Make your own. Aquavit is easy. There are several good books and lots of web sites on home distillation. There's even a weekend class (german language, but the science is the same) in Austria near a couple of good ski areas.
20:07 March 1, 2011 by Nemesis
More like it is every third beer consumed in Sweden was bought in Sweden, with two thirds bought abroad.
21:10 March 1, 2011 by zeero
Good, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1-- Now it will publish it... :-)
23:45 March 1, 2011 by johnny1939
I think the wine is very reasonable in Stockholm at least. I could never be bothered w/ shopping for booze abroad there are more interesting things to buy and I feel kind of silly dragging around plastic bags and they are heavy too.
23:58 March 1, 2011 by Ivan Juric
If you need to travel abroad to buy booze then maybe it's not the price of the booze that is the problem.
09:46 March 2, 2011 by eppie
@Ivan Juric

:) indeed!!

Anyway, when you buy wines of over 200SEK /bottle the prices are very reasonable at systembolaget.
10:17 March 2, 2011 by Rishonim
All this problem could be solved if SystemMafia would loosing up the grip on the monopoly. Do you think it is reasonable that in 2011 we are not allowed to buy booz past 15:00 on a Saturday???This is ridiculous and I am happy to see people going the extra length to get booz abroad and causing a drain in systemMafia coffers.
11:33 March 2, 2011 by ooh456
SB is making bags of money, not losing it. Otherwise they would change their policy and lower prices. Visit a store on a Friday night and see for yourself. If people want to buy cheap alcohol across the border, that's their right under EU law.
Today's headlines
Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

Neo-Nazi attacks
Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian
Police intervene after neo-Nazis attack an anti-Nazi rally in Kärrtorp, December 2013. Photo: Hampus Andersson/TT

Neo-Nazis cleared of knife attack on Nigerian

A Stockholm court has cleared three neo-Nazis of stabbing a Nigerian man in an unprovoked attack. But two of the men will face jail after they were convicted of racial agitation at a riot. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange court ruling expected on Monday
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange court ruling expected on Monday

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can expect the next court ruling on his case to take place on Monday October 27th in Stockholm. READ  

Politics
Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven at an EU summit in Brussels this week. Photo: TT

Sweden to get EU 'Christmas present'

Sweden is set to get 1.2 billion kronor ($168 million) back from the EU on December 1st, according to leaked EU documents which suggest that other European countries will have to make large top-up payments this year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

991
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN