CUSTOMS departments and other government agencies are often the most corrupt, abused and fraudulent parts of the entire air cargo and logistics supply chain, hard-hitting reports reveal.

Paper-based Customs operations, along with other government agencies located at ports and airports, are consistently “the most challenging junctures in the logistics supply chains,” Alexandra Wrage, president of Annapolis-based anti-corruption business association TRACE International, tells Thelma Etim.

“This is largely because they involve frequent interactions with foreign government officials and often require engaging multiple third-party business partners,” she explains.

Customs barriers are where air cargo and logistics supply chains businesses are most at risk to corruption and bribery, exclusively reveals.

A World Bank study focusing on international trade in 2017 corroborates such lack of transparency at Customs barriers in global supply chains. “In the realm of international trade, and particularly in Customs clearance procedures, corruption can flourish because Customs officials control something that firms greatly value: access to international markets,” notes the bank’s latest report.

Its research shows that Customs officials are “particularly prone” to accepting bribes and are more likely to engage in corruption compared to other sectors of the economy.

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