WCO attended the Oil and Fuel Theft Conference

30 April 2018

From 18 to 19 April 2018 the WCO attended the first Oil and Fuel Theft Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Oil and fuel theft is a major problem.  In the European Union the revenue loss caused by theft of oil and fuel is estimated to be worth 4 billion euros. Globally it is estimated that $133 billion worth of oil and fuel annually is stolen, adulterated, or fraudulently transferred at some point in its supply chain. This illicit money funds organized criminal gangs, terrorist groups and insurgents and motivates corruption.  The practices used in the thefts can also cause social and environmental devastation.

During the conference, high-level stakeholders within the hydrocarbons industry around the world, customs from different countries and international organisations such as UNODC, IMO, UNICRI and the WCO examined how oil and fuel theft occurs and shared experiences on how this revenue depriving crime can be fought and provided insight on the current solutions available such as: molecular marking, flow management and surveillance. 

The WCO presented some initiatives to secure the supply chain, to promote revenue collection, including activities related to the control and protection of mineral resources and initiatives to combating crime and terrorism that could help reducing fuel adulteration and smuggling. The WCO also participated in panel discussions on government revenue collection and the stakeholders who suffer the costs.

During the workshop a wide range topics related to mitigating oil and fuel theft was presented such as the implementation of fuel marking programs, the need of support of Customs laboratories in the detection of illicit additives in fuels, petrol and mineral oils and the organization of operations designed to disrupt illicit trade and arrest offenders.