The 9th Session of the Working Group on Revenue Compliance and Fraud Successfully Completed

15 December 2022

This week the 9th session of the Working Group on Revenue Compliance and Fraud took place in a hybrid format. More than 150 delegates from 57 countries, including the representatives of 5 Regional Intelligence Liason Offices (RILO), other international law enforcement organizations, and the WHO FCTC Secretariat, were participating in the meeting.

During a document-based phase 1, from the 14 to 25 November 2022, the Group elected Mr. Hugo Richard Mayer from Austria as its Chair and Mr. Mr Cesar Augusto MO ISEM from Guatemala as its Vice-Chair. Delegates discussed proposed agenda items, and comments were submitted through the CLiKC! discussion forum.

The hybrid meeting session was conducted from the 12th of December to the 14th of December 2022, and during this session over 20 agenda items were successfully concluded.

Under the Chairmanship of Mr. Hugo Richard Mayer, the agenda of this 9th WGRCF meeting reflected the ambition of this Group and of the Secretariat to provide the Members with information update, new initiatives, innovative ideas, and vision on revenue compliance and the fight against fraud.

The Group discussed and approved a draft WGRCF Work Program for the financial year 2023/2024, outlining all important initiatives and activities aimed at combating revenue fraud. For the implementation of some, a financial and human resource support provided by donors is essential.

Comprehensive updates were presented on data analysis to detect revenue leakage, the rules of origin activities, the Exploratory study on possible strategic review of the Harmonised System, the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Programme activities and initiatives, the Revenue Programme initiatives tackling commercial fraud and excise fraud, PCA activities, and on the Free Zone`s Compliance Strategy.

The results of the interregional operational activity Pathfinder aimed at tackling tobacco smuggling were reported by RILO CIS.

Australian Border Force (ABF) shared with the Group the outcomes of Operation Doubleton focused on the misclassification of alcohol, the proposal of Operation Jubilarian 2 focusing on revenue evasion opportunities related to the misuse of ATA carnet, and demonstrated their view of the link between criminality in the supply chain and the risks to revenue.

India Customs introduced their activities, tools and instruments in the area of risk management, targeting, data collection, data analysis and cooperation related to indirect taxes (VAT) linked with the import of goods and the fight against subsequent fraud.

A final phase will take place from 3 to 17 February 2023 through the CLiKC! discussion forum; during this phase, the Draft Summary Report of the 9th WGRCF will be presented to, discussed and approved by delegates.

The Working Group on Revenue Compliance and Fraud (WGRCF) was established in 2014 to address the enforcement aspects of revenue (including commercial fraud, money laundering, and smuggling of excisable goods) while focusing on fraud prevention and compliance management (dealing with irregularities and other than fraud, promoting voluntary compliance, post-clearance audit, etc.) to adopt a more holistic approach to revenue collection and protection.