The data for the charts and tables are collated from official World Customs Organization (WCO) data released annually as part of the Illicit Trade Report. The WCO is an intergovernmental organisation accounting for 183 countries / customs terriroties. The WCO maintains the Harmonized System of goods and administers aspects of the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); notably the Agreements on Customs Valuation.
The annual Illicit Trade Report covers 6 sections: cultural heritage items; drugs; environment; revenue; security; and intellectual property rights. WCO members submit data on a voluntary basis, since 2008 an average of 61 countries/ customs territories provide data each year. Therefore, it is difficult to compare yearly trends. As per the Illicit Trade Report 2018:
“The analysis of the trends in this Section requires a few caveats. First, the conclusions below rely on case-and-seizure data voluntarily submitted at the discretion of WCO Member countries. There are many reasons why Customs administrations might not report or might underreport their data, including the need to maintain secrecy over ongoing investigations. As a result, the Figures in this Section might not present a comprehensive view of IPR or medical products trafficking. Second, apparent increases in seizures of certain goods could reveal the increasing efficacy of Customs officers rather than a genuinely upward trend in IPR or medical products trafficking.” (page 115)
Note 1: any record listed as “NR” means Not Reported. This covered data not included for various reasons and which could not be accurately calculated using other datapoints.
WCO Customs Seizure Total & Number of Reporting Countries
This chart represents two metrics. Firstly, on the left y axis, the total number of IPR infringing articles seized as reported to WCO by members. On the right y axis, the number of reporting countries / customs entities who voluntarily provided data to WCO for each given year. WCO currently has 183 members.
|Reporting countries % of total members||NR||36.1%||38.3%||38.3%||29.6%||31.7%||37.7%||34.4%||30.1%||32.2%||33.3%||33.3%||27.3%|
Illicit Trade Reports released annually by World Customs Organization
Click here to access via WCO website – please note prior to 2012 the IPR report was released separately as ‘Customs and IPR Report’