A briefing from RUSI on 13th December says that while consumers are likely to rejoice at renewed efforts to harmonise prices across the single market, organised crime groups reliant on the postal system to traffic illicit goods are also likely to benefit.  It says that, over the past few years, organised crime groups have already demonstrated a vast capacity to permeate the postal and delivery service market, using these often-unwitting providers to move all manner of illegal goods, from counterfeit clothing to weapons and drugs.  This incessant flow of postal traffic does not minimise the significance of large-scale containerised shipping methods in moving illicit and illegal commodities, but it does demonstrate the versatility and creativity of the groups and their ability to capitalise on new trends in the delivery marketplace and it says that the new EU regulations are one such trend.  It points out that recent research suggests that EU customs agencies have struggled to adapt to the risks posed by shifting delivery patterns, and the steady rise in the volume of small parcels in the postal system.  For law enforcement, detecting and seizing counterfeit goods transported this way is a time-consuming and costly activity – and criminals know this.  It notes that the UK NCA National Strategy Assessment devotes a significant portion of its threat assessment to the postal system and fast parcel-service providers.  The briefing concludes that it is unlikely that the additional resources required to deal with new demands have been incorporated into future customs planning – with many agencies (including UK Border Force) under-resourced anyway.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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