Calls for UN to specifically focus on trade misinvoicing in development goals

The UN is mulling ambitious plans to crack down on illicit financial flows as it considers setting its new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

But a non-profit, Washington-based research and advisory organisation focused on illicit financial flows is calling on the UN to specifically consider focusing on trade-based money laundering.


[wa_restricted roles=”Gold, Silver, Premium, Standard, Free” login_label=”Log in” message=”Log into your ATFCP account to access content at Association of Trade Finance Compliance Professionals.

Don’t have an account?
Please go to to become a member! “]

Current proposals
SDGs will eventually replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were agreed upon for 2000-2015 and will inform which issues take priority in the UN’s post-2015 development agenda.

As currently proposed by the UN’s Open Working Group, SDG Goal 16.4 calls on the international community to, “by 2030 reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen recovery and return of stolen assets, and combat all forms of organised crime.”

Calls for specifics
Whilst welcoming the goals, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) is asking for more;

“Goal 16.4 is definitely a start in the right direction, it is not exclusively focused on illicit financial flows, nor is it measurable in the least. GFI proposes the following as an alternative: “by 2030, reduce illicit financial flows related to trade misinvoicing by 50 per cent.””

According to GFI, this goal targets a specific problem, not just illicit financial flows, but trade misinvoicing in particular, and it is definitely measurable.

Trade misinvoicing
While there are other components of illicit financial flows, GFI’s research has found that illicit financial flows drain nearly US$1 trillion from developing and emerging economies each year, with trade misinvoicing accounting for nearly 80 percent of those illicit outflows from 2002-2011.

According to GFI, combating trade misinvoicing is by far the most impactful way to curb illicit financial flows.


Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: