Anti-Illicit Trade Declaration to address all forms of illicit trade

Some of the world’s largest companies signed at the 2019 Zermatt Summit a declaration established by two influential Swiss non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to address all forms of illicit trade. 

The Anti-Illicit Trade Declaration was launched last year by the NGO that promotes international standards for secure electronic transactions, Organisation Internationale pour la Sécurité des Transactions Electroniques (OISTE – International Organisation for Secure International Transactions) Foundation and the Zermatt Summit Foundation, which organises the annual Zermatt Summit that brings business leaders together with key actors from civil society, academia, religion, the arts and politics.

Global supporters

Companies that signed the declaration included coffee trader Sucafina and trading and logistics company Integral Petroleum, both of which are based in Switzerland and Philip Morris International, the multinational tobacco company that now says it is committed to designing a smoke-free future.

The declaration is based on the founders’ view that despite considerable efforts from global organisations, governments and activists from the private sector, illicit trade remains prevalent and continues to pose a significant threat to the global economy.

Stop illicit trade

The Anti-Illicit Trade Declaration outlines the steps that need to be taken to stop illicit trade, which needs to be treated as a serious crime according to the declaration’s signatories.

They say that digitalisation and technology developments are transforming the fundamentals of trade in both legal and illegal economies.

Participative efforts

The signatories say improved global networks, real time data sharing systems and online platforms enable a more efficient supply of illicit products and increase the number of parties participating in this market, creating significant challenges for legitimate manufacturers, governments and other operators within affected industries.

Therefore, the declaration’s signatories believe that illicit trade has become a major contributor to discrepancies in wealth between the developing and developed world, while fuelling devastating conflicts and undermining the legitimacy of countries.


Main principles in the Anti-Illicit Trade Declaration include a commitment to address problems of corruption and money laundering related to illicit trade with legislation with a zero tolerance policy.

The declaration calls for strengthened legal frameworks and help for law enforcement as well as improved cross-agency mechanisms to counter illicit trade-based crime.

More information on the Anti-Illicit Trade Declaration can be found here.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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