Review of the Swedish-Norwegian national boundary

During the years 2020–2024, a review of the national boundary between Sweden and Norway is underway.

All boundary markers are restored and surveyed during the review of the national boundary. Photo: Karl Tirén.


The Swedish government has appointed a Swedish boundary commission at Lantmäteriet and in 2020 it was commissioned to do a review of the national boundary between Sweden and Norway. The work will be completed in 2024 and is carried out together with a boundary commission at the Norwegian Kartverket.

Lantmäteriet is responsible for the review of the northern part of the boundary, from marker 185B close to Valsjöbyn in northern Jämtland up to Treriksröset. That work is then controlled by Norway. Norway is responsible for the review of the southern part of the boundary, from Idefjorden to marker 185B. The work is then controlled by Sweden.

Riksröse no. 156. Photographer Tor Erik Bakke.
Photo: Tor Erik Bakke, Kartverket.

The review enables an orderly boundary

The purpose of the review is to provide an up-to-date and orderly documentation of the national boundary's location and how it is marked. During the review of the boundary, the boundary commission is working with restoring, painting yellow and measuring the boundary markers. A five-metre-wide clearing is (below the tree line) cut down and made free of trees and shrubs.

In some places, the line route of the national boundary needs to be clarified or somewhat changed. These places are mainly located along the southern part of the national boundary, where it partly also passes through lakes and along rivers.

The measurements carried out during the review enable accurately determined coordinates. This, together with the clarifications of the line route, result in that the quality of the national boundary in the cadastral index map will be able to be greatly improved when the review is finalised. The same applies to the national boundary in the geographical information from Lantmäteriet and from the Norwegian Mapping Authority, which among others is used in various map services.

The Swedish Boundary Commission

The Swedish boundary commission consists of Susanne Ås Sivborg (Director General, Head Boundary Commissioner), Martin Lidberg (Head of Department, Boundary Commissioner), Dan Norin (Geodesist, Geodetic Expert and Secretary) and Per Sörbom (Strategy Manager, Cadastral Information Expert). In addition, Michael Munter is the Project Manager.

In the latest review of the national boundary between Sweden and Norway, which was carried out during the years 1984–1987, Sweden was responsible for the southern part. Jim Widmark was Swedish Head Boundary Commissioner and Åke Gustafsson was Swedish Boundary Commissioner.

Work during 2020–2024

The work began in 2020 with a reconnaissance of the entire northern part and with some fieldwork. The fieldwork thereafter continued in large scale 2021–2023 and during this time about forty people have participated in the work in some way. Prior to the fieldwork, property owners and other stakeholders along the boundary have been contacted. The fieldwork has included:

  • The boundary line has been set out with sticks and totally have about 3000 sticks been used on the northern part.
  • The 5-metre-wide clearing (2.5 metres into each country) has been made based on a recommendation from the Nordic Council 1957 (since 1751 there is a formal right to clear 10 metres wide). Since the clearing shall be free of branches etcetera, also some trees and shrubs outside the clearing have been cleared and also felled. In total, the clearing on the northern part has covered about 160 kilometres, where some tens of kilometres remain to be cleared during 2024.
  • All boundary markers have been restored and measured accurately with modern technology. An estimated 700 tons of stone have been piled on the northern part in connection with the restorations.
  • All cairns have been painted yellow and inscriptions have been painted black. Around 1,600 litres of paint have been used on the northern part.
The royal inscriptions on the national boundary markers are properly filled in during restoration. Photo: Anders Frisk.

Current work

During the last year of the review (2024), the clearing will be completed through some work with that in the County of Jämtland (Krokom and Strömsund municipalities) during May–June. Furthermore, remaining unclearness around the line route of the boundary will be clarified and a comprehensive documentation will be completed for approval by the governments of Sweden and Norway.

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