On Friday 22 November, Tobias Freeman, Senior Legal Officer of the Siracusa International Institute participated in the 6th Meeting of the World Customs Organization’s (WCO’s) Working Group on Revenue Compliance and Fraud in Brussels. The WCO is the global Customs agency, representing 183 national Customs administrations, which collectively process approximately 98% of world trade.
Specifically, Mr. Freeman joined a panel discussion on illicit trade in alcohol, highlighting the crucial role of Customs to the fight against illicit trade in all its manifestations, analysing the nature and scale of this sector and its links to organized crime and corruption, and proposing measures for improving strategic and policy coherence in combating illicit trade in alcohol and other excise goods at the national and regional levels. The panel also involved Ms. Monica Ramirez of AB InBev, and Ms. Fleur Van Heddeghem and Mr. Filip Bogaert of Belgian Customs. It was chaired by Mr. Jonathan Page of Canadian Customs.
The Institute looks forward to strengthening its cooperation with the WCO on its work combating organized crime and illicit trade.