Before being nominated to the head to the Finnish customs in 1998 he served as a manager in charge of foreign subsidiaries at Outokumpu Oy and before that at economist positions at different Finnish ministries. He has worked in the Finnish OECD representative office, and also pursued an academic career.
- Helsingin Sanomat 3 July 2006
- Tapani Erling elected chairman of the Council of the World Customs Organization at the Finnish Customs site
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