Working Group on Commercial Fraud

Confirmed by the Council - June 2006

Established : 2005

Duration : Unspecified

1. Mandate

The Working Group on Commercial Fraud acts under the overall direction of, and reports to the Enforcement Committee, with administrative support provided by the WCO Secretariat.

2. Membership

Three Member administrations from each WCO region, nominated through the
Vice-Chairpersons. The tenure of the members shall usually be of two years with no bar to their re-nomination.

The members of the Working Group shall elect the Chairperson among them.

3. Purpose and Scope

(i) To study the nature and extent of commercial fraud[1] and analyse its linkages with money laundering, organized crime and terrorist financing.

(ii) To assist in ascertaining perceived needs of Member administrations in the area of commercial fraud.

(iii) To propose strategies and methods of international co-operation to combat commercial fraud.

(iv) To develop appropriate tools, such as guidelines and Recommendations, for addressing the problem of commercial fraud, for approval of Member administrations.

(v) To consider any other issues of relevance to commercial fraud.

4. Key Deliverables

The Working Group on Commercial Fraud will report to the Enforcement Committee on the Agenda items which it has examined, providing its conclusions in the form of recommendations or options for the Enforcement Committee’s consideration.

5. Means of Operation

The Working Group will work on a continuous basis using e-mail and the WCO Members’ Web site. Information on the activities and progress of the Working Group and the papers and reports generated by it shall be made available on the WCO Members’ Web site. The Working Group shall meet at least once a year, for a duration not exceeding three days. Meetings shall be held at WCO Headquarters, unless participants agree otherwise.

6. Resources Required

The members of the Working Group will fund their own activities, including travel and accommodation expenses.

The WCO Secretariat will provide necessary support for the meetings when held in Brussels.

[1] “ Commercial fraud” means :

“Any offence against statutory or regulatory provisions which Customs are responsible for enforcing, committed in order to :

1. Evade, or attempted to evade, payment of duties/levies/taxes on movements of commercial goods; and/or

2. Evade, or attempt to evade, any prohibition or restrictions applicable to commercial goods; and/or

3. Receive, or attempt to receive, any repayments, subsidies or other disbursements to which there is no proper entitlement; and/or

4. Obtain, or attempt to obtain, illicit commercial advantage injurious to principle and practice of legitimate business competition.”.

(This definition was agreed by the Working Group to the 11th Enforcement Committee (Doc. 36.540), approved by the Enforcement Committee and adopted by the Council).