November 1, 2022

U.S. Trade Highlights

Increasing the Focus on Trade-Based Money Laundering

  • CBP will be placing a greater focus on the issue of trade-based money laundering and tax evasion in the Fiscal Year 2023 since both represent a growing threat and have massive financial and national security implications.
  • In 2017, Global Financial Integrity, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focused on illicit financial flows, corruption, illicit trade, and money laundering, estimated that transnational criminal organizations are making between $1.6 and $2.2 trillion annually by trafficking in illegal contraband, ranging from drugs, weapons, humans, cultural property, counterfeit and pirated goods, wildlife, illegal logging and mining operations, illegal fishing, and even human organs.
  • Illegal logging is the most profitable environmental crime, with a retail value of up to $157 billion annually.
  • Illegal mining has a retail value of up to $48 billion, while illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing has a retail value of up to $36.4 billion annually.
  • Illegal wildlife trade generates up to $23 billion in illicit funds.
  • Transnational Crime and the Developing World warns that transnational crime will continue to grow until governments, experts, the private sector, and civil society groups challenge the paradigm of high profits and low risks by promoting greater financial transparency.
  • The most common form of trade-based money laundering involves the deliberate and inaccurate description of customs declarations to artificially raise or lower the value of goods declared on import or export.
  • To address these challenges, CBP employs an intelligence-driven approach, looking for a variety of red flags, including payments made to a vendor via wire transfers from unrelated third parties; false reporting, such as commodity misclassification and over- and under-valuation; double invoicing; and packaging abnormalities that are inconsistent with commodity or shipping.

CBP Deputy Commissioner Hosts COAC Public Meeting

  • On Sept. 14, during the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee, or COAC, public meeting, CBP Deputy Commissioner Troy Miller discussed international trade issues with subject matter experts and provided updates on CBP’s progress to address current and future trade challenges.
  • The COAC will ultimately advise the Secretaries of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Department of Homeland Security on all matters involving the commercial operations of CBP.
  • For more information, visit the COAC page.

Trade Enforcement Success: CBP Modifies Existing WRO

  • CBP announced on Sept. 7 that it modified an existing Withhold Release Order, or WRO, lifting trade restrictions on garments imported by Natchi Apparel (P) Ltd. and its parent company, Eastman Exports.
  • CBP modified the WRO after a non-governmental organization provided evidence to CBP that the Indian company had addressed all five of the International Labour Organization’s indicators of forced labor cited in the WRO.
  • For more information, read the press release.

CBP Commissioner Hosts WCO Secretary General

  • CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus hosted World Customs Organization, or WCO, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya in Washington, D.C., on Sept 23 to discuss emerging and important international trade issues.
  • Among the topics discussed: are the importance of collaboration to further secure and facilitate global trade in the post-pandemic environment, CBP's capacity-building assistance to WCO members, and the evolving trade landscape, including e-commerce and customs digitization.

Seizures of Counterfeit Jewelry Continue

By the Numbers: Recent Trade Statistics

  • According to CBP’s August 2022 Monthly Operational Update, commercial truck traffic increased by 5 percent over the same month in 2021.
  • In August 2022 alone, CBP processed more than 3 million entry summaries valued at more than $294 billion, identifying estimated duties of nearly $9.4 billion to be collected by the U.S. government.
  • During August, CBP:
    • Seized nearly 2,099 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $159 million.
    • Targeted 838 entries valued at more than $266.5 million for suspected use of forced labor in the production of imported goods, including goods subject to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and Withhold Release Orders.
    • Issued 6,964 emergency action notifications for restricted and prohibited plant and animal products entering the United States.
    • Conducted 100,244 positive passenger inspections and issued 791 civil penalties and/or violations to the traveling public for failing to declare prohibited agriculture items.

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