Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006:
Booze -
Does the Swedish government trust Swedes?

What I think:

A few weeks ago, my girlfriend pointed out an ad in a newspaper for booze. It seems that one can now order wine, beer, and spirits from a website, and have it delivered to one's home. Cool. No more going to Systembolaget
to get what is globally recognised as a part of a decent meal, or a good party. Or both. Brilliant.

But then I started reading reports of how Swedish customs are confiscating people's booze as it comes into the country because it's been illegally imported. It's apparently been illegally imported by legitimate companies who have legitimately legal licences to ply their trade. What? Let me get this straight...

So, I can legally order whatever booze I want in over the Internet in Sweden, but it could be impounded by customs upon its arrival, because it's illegal.

The Swedish government are ignoring European law (or rather interpreting it differently). People are ordering booze from Swedish-registered companies (over the Internet); keeping within the law, but unintentionally breaking it at the same time.

The Swedish government are allowing companies to offer the service, then immediately revoking their ability to deliver.

In a nutshell:
European law: You can order booze from anywhere you want; the Swedish government's monopoly on this is illegal, from our point of view.
Swedish law: OK, you can order from whomever you want.
No wait, maybe not.

Umm, no, you can't order booze.
Umm, OK, you can order it, but it might get taken away from you at customs, OK?

The biggest advocates of this horrible monopoly are the current government. Isn't it interesting that the person in charge of Systembolaget is married to Sweden's Prime Minister?

It's time that Swedes had a proper choice, and it's time that the Swedish government did something about it. That's what I think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, you fail to mention that at the time of placing your order you can also take out, quite cheaply, insurance protecting your cash in the event that the tull impound it.
Great entrepenörship.

8:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funnily enough we have something a little like this in the States (though a bit backward).

Medicinal Marijauna is perfectly legal if you have a prescription for it. Hell, you can even grow it if you want to... This is only if California Law Enforcement comes after you.

Federal Law says it's illegal to possess it. So if the FBI shows up, you're basically screwed.

I love the way America works.

9:45 am  
Blogger Tug said...

when I grow up I wanna work in Swedish customs so I can take whatever booze I want from all of you on-line orderers.

11:28 pm  
Blogger Ethel said...

Thanks for the kind comments on my blog!!

4:12 am  
Blogger Barnze said...

Fucking rip off.I bet those customs blokes aint short of a drink or two!

12:46 pm  
Blogger kT said...

They kind of do that here in the states -- it is illegal to buy booze from another state online and then have it shipped to you. NY Times just had an article on how many of those mincy New York wine-lovers are breaking the laws.

Personally? I want instant gratification.

8:41 pm  
Blogger Holly said...

Mark, yes here in the UK they do have whats called dial a beer, never used it meself but apperently its a good service, you can get beer, wine, general alcohol, cigarettes and snacks...ideal if you have a party and run out of booze.

9:22 pm  
Blogger prying1 said...

Simple solution - order water/mixer online and add the booze when it gets there.

I agree that it sounds like another typical government scam. Wonder where they hold the custom's auctions and if anyone can walk/drive away from them? How many elected officials show up for them?

7:07 am  
Blogger Haddock said...

Sounds like its not easy to get a drink in Sweden. I believe booze is also very expensive there.

8:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wouldn't surprise me if customs employees are running the websites, they would get the money and the beer!

11:11 am  

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