Governance Frameworks to Counter Illicit Trade

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This report examines governance frameworks to counter illicit trade. It looks at the adequacy and effectiveness of sanctions and penalties applicable, the steps parties engaged in illicit trade take to lower the risk of detection - for example through small shipments - and the use of free trade zones as hubs for managing trade in illicit products. It also identifies gaps in enforcement that may need to be addressed. The report provides an overview of selected enforcement issues in BRICS economies (Brazil, China, India, the Russian Federation and South Africa).




Globalisation and free trade are strong drivers of economic growth. They have also opened up new opportunities for illicit trade activities. Criminal networks benefit from these opportunities at the expense of public safety, human rights, legitimate business activity and sustainable environmental resources. Consumers rely on effective institutions and law enforcement to protect them from the risks of illicit goods. Businesses also rely on them to counter and deter illicit markets. Trade in counterfeit goods undermines the legitimate competitive advantage of rights holders, and hampers innovation, employment and long-term economic growth. Illicit trade may also ultimately undermine the rule of law and citizens’ trust in government.


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