Fighting Illicit Trade Across E-Commerce Platforms, Online Marketplaces, and Digital World
David M. Luna,
Chair, Anti-Illicit Trade Expert Group (AITEG)
Business at OECD (BIAC)
Launch of OECD E-Commerce Report at
National IPR Coordination Center
13 December 2021
Alexandria, Virginia (Global Online)
Good morning. Good afternoon.
Let me first thank the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National IPR Coordination Center for hosting today’s event, as well as Steve Francis, Deputy Executive Associate Director, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and current co-Chair of the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade (TF-CIT), for his leadership, as well as our good friend, Chris Martin, co-Chair TFCIT, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HRMC).
As the Chair of Business at OECD Anti-Illicit Trade Expert Group, it is a great pleasure to be here at this launch event for the OECD report “E-commerce challenges in illicit trade in fakes”, and to recognize the outstanding work of the OECD TF-CIT.
This important report is also the first outcome of our Special Project on illicit trade between the AITEG and our dynamic public-private partnership with the OECD TF-CIT.
From Business at OECD, we are especially proud to have actively participated in the work leading up to this final report through sharing information and market data insights, best practices, and other industry perspectives to shed greater light on the booming trade of counterfeits across global supply chains and online marketplaces.
We believe it is crucial to take into account the input from private sector since it ultimately contributes to gain a more detailed perspective of the adverse impacts emerging from illicit trade in e-commerce.
In addition to thanking Piotr Stryszowski, Senior Economist – a superb driver of work of the TFCIT – I would also like to warmly thank the leadership at the OECD, Business at OECD (BIAC), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and other international organizations, for providing energies, making the necessary investments in fighting global illicit trade, and supporting these special projects.
Finally, I would like to thank the member states of the OECD, and our Business at OECD members particularly - the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB) and its members including Pfizer, Amazon, Philip Morris International (PMI), Ebay, Walmart, Nike, Walt Disney, ABinBev, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC), and many other BIAC federations and partners- for working on these important thematic streams in recent years, especially during the pandemic.
As was highlighted this morning, the report is timely given the breadth and scale of nefarious actors and criminal networks exploitation of the openness of the internet and anonymity of transactions on e-commerce to evade detection, and circumvent law enforcement in order to distribute and trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, and other illicit goods and contraband, across the digital world.
The pandemic has further accelerated illicit trade but especially across online platforms including fraudulent COVID-19 related products.
As we learned through our series of TF-CIT webinars over the past year, COVID-19 also created unprecedented opportunities for criminals to increase their already significant illicit activities such as counterfeit pharmaceutical products and personal protective equipment (PPE), frauds, and coronavirus-phishing scams. Illicit trade has further hampered economic development by preventing the equitable distribution of resources that provide for sustainable futures.
Moving forward, the AITEG remains committed to continuing our partnership with the TF-CIT on Phase 2 of the e-commerce project including more in-depth analyses of the institutional and governance gaps exploited by criminals, and encouragement of more national assessments and country studies.
We look forward to also advancing momentum in other critical, and inspiring areas to:
support the implementation of the OECD Recommendation enhancing transparency in free trade zones (FTZs), support the development of the implementation toolkit, identify best practices, and promote compliance with the Code of Conduct;
counter the misuse of containerized shipping and maritime transport channels for illicit trade;
address illicit trade in vulnerable, high-risk sectors, and global supply chains; and
Strengthen partnerships with the European Commission (EC), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the G20/B20, the World Customs Organization (WCO), and World Trade Organization (WTO), INTERPOL, United National Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and others.
Business at OECD also supports the need for further evidence-based research to help strengthen our policy frameworks to address governance gaps on fighting illicit trade, and to engender trust and confidence by markets and consumers alike.
AITEG is also committed to sharing critical intelligence and best practices with all market stakeholders to enhance targeting, investigations, and disruptions in the trafficking in counterfeit and pirated goods, and other illicit products and dangerous contraband across global supply chains and facilitating the takedown of illegal websites online.
Targeting corruption and money laundering/TBML that help fuel illicit trade must also be an important cross-cutting priority in the work program of the TF-CIT.
Finally, we must harness transformative technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, financial intelligence/financial technologies, predictive analytics, track and trace, and other innovations, to help address illicit markets in a more effective and efficient manner.
Through public-private partnerships we can join forces to do more together.
The AITEG will continue to support joint research projects, events, training, and workshops related to the work of the TF-CIT towards economic recovery, and resiliency responses to counter illicit trade across sectors.
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