您当前的位置:首页>部门动态>媒体视点

应用核安保探测技术保障贸易安全
——关于贸易便利化、贸易安全、关税征收之间相互支持关系的系列讨论

日期:2020-09-11

国际原子能机构是促进核领域科学技术合作的世界主要政府间论坛。它致力于核科学技术的安全、可靠及和平利用,为国际和平与安全和联合国“可持续发展目标”作贡献。

The International Atomic Energy Agency is the world's central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field. It works for the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, contributing to international peace and security and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

1984年1月,中国加入国际原子能机构

In January, 1984, China joined in the IAEA

中国是国际原子能机构指定理事国

China acts designated member of the Board of Governors

中国全面支持国际原子能机构工作

China has provided comprehensive support to the IAEA

中国已签署或加入12项核领域国际公约

China has signed or joined to 12 international conventions in the nuclear field

中国是国际原子能机构第二大会费国

China is the second largest contributor to the IAEA - Assessed Contributions

中国将持续为核安保基金捐款

China will continue to contribute to the Nuclear Security Fund

该系列讨论文章由国际原子能机构核安全和安保司,核安保处主导,并得到该机构成员国发起的“核安保基金”的支持

This work has been supported in part by voluntary contributions made by Member States to the Nuclear Security Fund, Division of Nuclear Security, Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, within the International Atomic Energy Agency.


概要Outline:

本篇是三期连载系列报告中的首期,讨论了在全球贸易中安全方面的薄弱环节,以及这些薄弱环节可能会带来的影响;提出了应用一国现有的针对两用品的安全基础架构,来防范安全风险,维护贸易安全的新措施。

The 1st installment discusses security and safety vulnerabilities of global trade, the impact of those vulnerabilities, and suggests a revised approach to address those vulnerabilities using, in many cases, existing security infrastructure for dual (or multiple ) purposes.

第二期讨论全球集装箱供应链中的商业欺诈、核材料的非法贩运以及各国在保障核安全方面的义务。

The 2nd installment discusses commercial fraud within the global containerized supply chain, illicit trafficking in nuclear material, and obligations of States with respect to nuclear safety and security.

最后一部分将介绍联合国的可持续发展目标(SDGs)及其与“一带一路”倡议的相关性;并讨论应用核安 保探测技术保障贸易安全管理贸易风险的方法。

The last installment covers the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their relevance to the Belt Road Initiative; and discusses approaches for management of risk in trade that utilize nuclear detection technologies to enhance safety, security, and trade facilitation.


作者Author:



摘要

当今全球化时代背景下国家和区域间贸易和供应链形成了紧密相关、互相衔接的网络。贸易对国家的经济福祉至关重要,同时,贸易品征税也为国家带来了可观营收。在低收入经济体中,国际贸易税占总税收的一大部分(通常约40%)。互联互通的物流、资金流和信息流是保障经济可持续增长的基础。随着国际贸易的增长,越来越多的国际间货物流动增强了国家和区域间的相互依赖性和全球贸易体系的复杂性,涉及具有安全隐患和风险的货物运输环节中出现的违法犯罪行为日益增多。为此,各国依据联合国公约等相关法律机制履行其义务,广泛打击非法活动①。然而,由于非法活动的复杂性、对全球供应链负面影响,还有各国在财政和人力等方面的限制,导致各国履行义务时遭多种因素掣肘。

本篇是三期连载系列报告中的首期,讨论了在全球贸易中安全方面的薄弱环节,以及这些薄弱环节可能会带来的影响。本文提出了应用一国现有的针对两用品的安全基础架构,来防范安全风险,维护贸易安全的新措施。现今各国贸易通关基础设施和技术因无法实现一体化而在一定程度上阻碍贸易流动。本报告提出的新措施则致力于通过基础安全设施间实现数据交流相互融合,以保障高效安全的全球贸易和税收,造福于贸易系统的合法参与者,协助各国贸易走出当前困境。

本系列讨论将聚焦以集装箱运输为重点的国际供应链,强调因非法贩运(毒品、香烟、危险废物和核材料)造成的关税损失、安全隐患和安保威胁以及相关的社会损失和商业欺诈。本文基于如何有效利用现有安全检测基础设施这一主题,以非侵入性检查技术和信息技术为重点切入,列出以下经济案例:(1)基础设施使用成本与非法行为成本;以及(2)商业欺诈造成的持续损失。鉴于合法和非法货运量的持续增长以及商业欺诈相关问题,且没有一个国家能在全球化的问题中独善其身,本系列讨论最后指出,解决全球供应链中存在的问题,为公共健康、贸易安全提供保障,需要全球的协调努力与科技支撑。


1. 导言

集装箱作为供应链物流的重要载体,在海、陆、空运输中得到广泛应用,为各国带去可观的经济效益。据欧盟委员会统计,预计在2018-2026年间,全球集装箱贸易将以平均4.6%的速度持续增长。其中,2019-2023年,预计全球集装箱海港吞吐量将以每年5.5%的速率增长,达到近10亿标箱。然而,集装箱虽能加快货运速度,推动贸易发展,但由于其封闭性,和内载货品的不可视性,成为组织犯罪集团进行非法③ 贩运的载体, 对贸易活动的安全构成威胁。威胁包括:毒品贩运,假冒商品,烟草走私,核生化武器及其部件的非法贩运,以及受污染货物或未受控的有害废物形式存在的安全威胁。此外,用封闭集装箱运输货物也会导致商品的漏报和瞒报等逃税行为的频发。

随着大型集装箱船的规模不断扩大,港口和多式联运系统等方面效率得以体现,集装箱货运将继续成为最便宜的国际货运方式。从工厂到买方目的地的全货箱运输来看,20英尺和40英尺集装箱在全球的平均成本分别④ 为1500至3000美元。这样的低成本得益于规模经济,合法和非法货物托运人均可从中获益。一艘货运船可从大型港口和集装箱船数百至两万多⑤个标准箱,这使得使货物的合法运输更加有效,但也便利了难以察觉的非法货物运输。    


2. 非法贩运毒品、香烟和有害废物

2.1 毒品贸易

对于海运公司及其航运客户而言,令人担忧的是贩毒分子利用高效的供应链进行毒品贸易。为遏制毒品流动,各国海关在贸易检测方面提高了成本,也影响了正常贸易发货速度,同时,随着运营商对远洋船只规模和速度以及港口货物装卸作业效率的进一步追求,兼顾贸易安全与商业速度成为日益凸显的难题。2019年美国和欧洲都在跨洋运输中查获了大量的大宗毒品。官员们表示,这说明越来越多贩毒分子利用商业运输贩卖可卡因,海洛因和其他毒品。官员们还提到,随着航运业务规模不断扩大,过去十年来最大的集装箱船规模翻了一番,集装箱便成为了贩毒分子的目标。

尽管没有掌握所有已缉获或逃避执法的违禁货物数据,有关部门仍可以利用已有数据更清晰地了解毒品是在何处以及如何越境的。美国海关和边境保护局⑥前专员(2014-2017),美国缉毒局、国家药品控制政策办公室主任(2009-2014)理查德·科尔里科沃斯克先生说:“根据在墨西哥被逮捕的走私者以及执法人员那里得到的情报表明,贩毒集团更喜欢在繁忙的入境口岸运送高利润的毒品,因为在那里犯罪更易成功。”美国的数据说明了问题的严重性,在缉获的毒品中相当一部分是在合法的过境点而不是其他边境点被搜查到的,这说明了贩毒分子对利用合法过境点进行走私的偏好。在2012年至2018年期间,被缴获的毒品中,有90%的海洛因、88%的可卡因、87%的甲基苯丙胺(冰毒)和80%的芬太尼是通过合法过境点走私的。

世界各地的入境港口越来越多地使用X射线技术来检测此类非法药物。 2019年1月,美国海关及边境巡逻队利用X射线技术发现在运送黄瓜的一辆拖车的尾部夹隔板中,藏有将近254磅芬太尼和395磅甲基苯丙胺,黑市价值约460万美元。这是美国海关及边境巡逻队有史以来缴获的最大规模的合成类阿片芬太尼。2019年6月,在费城港的集装箱中发现“异常”后,经过包括光纤显微镜、缉毒犬和X射线扫描仪的进一步检查后,发现了15000块可卡因,总重约35000磅,黑市价值约为10亿美元。2019年7月,澳大利亚边境官员使用大型光装备破获了一起重大毒品走私案,该案涉嫌利用一部二手挖掘机,在其液压臂上藏匿384公斤可卡因,再由商船运往澳大利亚。该次毒品交易价值1.32亿澳元。

非法使用集装箱会对社会经济产生极大的负面作用。在全球范围内,仅仅维持治安和截获非法药物的费用每年就超过1000亿美元。与此同时,据保守估计,非法毒品市场的年价值超过3300亿美元,这些犯罪网络背后的巨大资源,可用于助长腐败。社会要为这些非法的药物交易承担高昂代价,其中包括毒品相关的犯罪成本,以及药物依赖者和无法保护自己免受其他血源性疾病侵害群体所需卫生和社会服务而产生的费用。

长久以来,联合国成员国为应对贩毒的带来威胁而采取各种措施,要求采取措施的公约包括:经1972年议定书修正的《1961年麻醉品单一公约》,《1971年精神药物公约》,1988年颁布的《联合国禁止非法贩运麻醉药品和精神药物公约》及其最终法令和决议。在这最后一项与贸易有关的公约中,有几项条款值得注意,根据第15条第(3)款,《公约》每一缔约方“应设法确保商业承运人和出入境地及其他海关管制区的有关当局合作,以防止未经许可进入运输工具和货物,并实施适当的安全措施。”

《公约》第9条规定了缔约方应开展的其他形式的国际合作和培训。这些任务规定包括:缔约方应“相互协助,规划和实施旨在分享专门知识的研究和培训方案并为此目的,还应酌情利用区域和国际会议和研讨会,促进合作,加大对共同关注的问题的讨论,包括针对过境国的特殊问题和需要。”此外,该条约还介绍了应对毒品流动进行侦查和监测的培训方案以及针对毒品转移、藏匿和伪装的方法。

《公约》没有规定侦查和威慑非法贩运毒品所需的研究活动或方法(例如特定技术、情报或数据分析),但核探测技术的使用和价值是周所周知的。如本节前文所述,使用X射线技术可缉获大量非法药物。X射线技术在大型固定设施、移动平台和手持设备中的应用只是核探测技术在药物检测中的应用之一。改进与其他传感器和信息相结合的核探测技术的开发和使用,显然可用于协助打击非法毒品贸易。  

2.2 香烟贸易

2009年的一项研究表明,非法香烟占全球卷烟市场的11.6%,相当于每年6570亿支香烟,损失关税收入405亿美元,而中低收入经济体会承担其中大部分关税收入损失(每年约230亿美元)。就香烟而言,上述费用仅用于损失的关税收入。如果算上挽救生命的医疗费用,这个数字就要高得多。例如,如果消除了非法香烟走私,估计6年内将挽救100多万人的生命(主要是在低收入和中等收入经济体)。

最近发生于生香港的一起案件可以说明这一问题。2020年2月,香港海关查获4个装满3100万支香烟的海运集装箱,价值约1100万美元。据香港海关收入和普查局副局长说,该装有香烟的集装箱在到达香港之前,曾停靠日本、韩国、越南和中国大陆的港口。这条迂回的路线被走私者用来逃避侦查,也证明非法贩运也具备全球联通性。该进口单证上所列的内容也被修改,导致主要以货运单证为基础的风险管理系统的各法域的执法工作无法顺利进行。

2018年,澳大利亚边境执法局在一次联合行动中缉获逾2000万支非法香烟。这两个从越南进口的海运集装箱抵达澳大利亚之前,在一个转运港被拦截。根据澳大利亚当局的说法,对这些香烟税收约有1420万澳元⑦,如果它们在不纳税的情况下进入澳大利亚市场,这些钱很可能会直接流向其他犯罪活动。

为解决非法使用烟草的负面影响,各国政府和世界卫生组织(世卫组织)等国际机构已采取行动,如2012年《消除烟草制品非法贸易议定书》(议定书)。该议定书是根据《烟草控制框架公约》谈判达成的,是世卫组织缔约方打击非法烟草产品贸易的努力之一。该议定书是一项国际条约,其目的是通过各国相互合作采取的一系列措施,消除一切形式的烟草产品非法贸易:它旨在为全球性问题提供解决办法。截至2020年4月,《议定书》共有58个缔约方。

该议定书是针对不断增长的长期跨国界非法烟草制品贸易而制定,着重强调在区域和次区域两级开展合作,打击烟草制品非法贸易。该非法贸易对公众健康构成严重威胁。非法香烟往往更廉价,因而增加了销售机会,从而助长烟草流行,破坏烟草控制政策。另外,它还导致政府税收的大量流失,甚至为国际犯罪活动提供资金。

该《议定书》要求在协议生效后五年内建立一个全球跟踪和追踪制度,其中包括国家和区域跟踪和追踪系统以及一个全球信息共享点,而这只有采用支持供应链可视性的技术才有可能实现。根据已颁布的烟草产品指令,在2019年5月20日之前,成员国应为香烟和卷烟设立可溯系统和安全特征,并在2024年5月20日之前为所有其他烟草产品(如雪茄、香烟和无烟烟草产品)设立可溯系统和安全特征的。因此,所有组织都需要实施可溯性和供应链可见性措施,打击烟草产品的非法贸易。

加强利用现有检测技术和工艺是针对非法香烟贸易最具可见性和威慑力的解决方案。不仅可以利用X射线系统的“主动”核技术探测香烟,还可以利用“被动”⑧辐射探测系统。国际原子能机构协调的一项全球研究工作表明,由于香烟(烟草和各种滤嘴)存在不同的天然放射性物质(NORM),具有明显的放射性特征。烟草中各种放射性同位素的存在和浓度可以提供可能的来源和种类(生烟草、干烟草等)信息。此外,加工、包装和其他工艺过程,包括使用添加剂,都会明显地改变香烟中的放射性量。研究还表明,非法香烟和合法香烟之间的放射性物质量的差异也是可测的。使用被动辐射检测系统,可以快速检测香烟放射性物质的存在,甚至能够以此区分合法和非法香烟。所以“被动”和“主动”检测技术的部署为打击非法贩运香烟提供了重要的检测和威慑。

2.3 有害废物贸易

国际社会对废物贩运的审查表明,有害废物贸易是一个规模庞大且有利可图的犯罪行业,有组织跨国犯罪集团也参与其中。1989年《控制有害废物越境转移及其处置巴塞尔公约》对包括电子废物在内的有害废物和其他废物的非法贩运作了具体界定,并在该公约生效后通过2018年5月27日生效的公约作了进一步修正。《公约》缔约方必须制定国家法律,以防止和惩治有害废物的非法贩运。

公约规定各国有义务确保将有害废物和其他废物的任何越境转移减至最低限度,并以保护人类健康和环境的方式进行;并认为非法贩运有害废物或其他废物是犯罪行为。《公约》还规定,各国有义务与其他缔约方和有关组织合作开展活动,包括传播关于有害废物和其他废物越境转移的信息,以便改进对这些废物的无害环境管理,并防止非法贩运。

据估计,在全球范围内,有害废物的非法贸易每年为违法企业带来120亿美元的收入。根据每个国家的要求,非法处置有害废物的费用要比合法处理的低4倍以上。 欧洲联盟环境法执行部门提到,从欧盟出口的无害废物中,多达85%属非法运输或违规。在全球范围内,对环境敏感的商品的非法贸易年营业额估计约为213.3亿美元。

由于废物材料量大,且其流动难以被察觉,非法贩运废物已成为犯罪增长最快的领域之一,此类犯罪对不法商人和犯罪网络的吸引力也日益增长。走私有害废物和电子废物的走私者为了逃避执法机构的制裁,往往将货物归类为二手产品,从而绕过海关条例和国际公约。犯罪分子将不同类型的违禁品在不同的地理位置之间迅速转移,以应对地理或打击对象有限的执法行动。        

根据2016年联合国环境署与国际刑警组织的联合报告,环境犯罪是继毒品走私、制假和人口贩运之后的世界第四大犯罪领域。对比环境犯罪的规模之大,30亿美元的非法小型武器贸易也相形见绌。据联合国环境规划署估计,2016年环境犯罪的年度成本在910-2580亿美元之间,其中废物占了120亿美元,使因环境犯罪而损失的金额比国际机构用于打击环境犯罪的金额高出10000倍,后者仅为2000-3000万美元。环境犯罪可能造成多方面的社会不良影响,且往往与剥削弱势社区、侵犯人权、洗钱和腐败有关。

在许多入境点和一些转运中心有一项有待应用推广的技术——辐射监测器(RPMs),可用于侦查多种有害废物的非法贩运,并帮助各国履行《巴塞尔公约》规定的义务。《巴塞尔公约》所列出的多种废物,特别是附件八和附件九所列的,包括金属和含金属的废物以及主要含有无机成分的废物。从放射学的角度来看,这些废物中大多数含有可测的天然放射性物质(NORM),且易于使用辐射 监测器(RPMs)进行检测;根据监测器的类型,可以进一步了解这些物质的来源和组成。当与预期的辐射响应进行比较时,辐射监测器(RPMs)作为强有力的工具,可用于验证货物申报的内容。同时也能快速地获取有用信息,且成本低廉,并且可以鉴别和判断提交文件的不一致,同时将检查的交通阻抗降到最低。随着对能够提供集装箱图像的主动探测技术的进一步使用,以及通过不同技术对结果中化学/元素的识别,核探测技术打击非法贩运的作用显而易见。


3、总结

本篇描述了集装箱货物供应链以及在集装箱货运环节中非法贩运毒品、香烟和有害废物的社会成本。简要讨论了现有安全基础设施在侦查和打击这些商品非法贩运方面的应用。下一期将讨论全球集装箱供应链中的商业欺诈、核材料的非法贩运以及各国在保障核安全方面的义务。最后一部分将介绍联合国的可持续发展目标及其与“一带—路”倡议的相关性;并讨论管理贸易风险的方法。

1“违法行为”也指不遵守法律法规的行为,这一法律术语也适用于民事犯罪。“非法”具有强烈的不道德内涵,也可能是“违法”的,而犯罪则意味着应受惩罚的不法行为。“犯罪行为”通常由一个国家的刑法或刑法所涵盖。此外,涉及核材料或其他放射性材料的犯罪行为可能构成与恐怖主义行为有关的罪行,[包括《核材料实物保护公约》及其修正案和《制止核恐怖主义行为国际公约》所列的罪行],在一些国家,受特别立法约束。(国际原子能机构,2015年)

2 仅就本文件而言,集装箱一词包括海运集装箱、航空集装箱和用于运输货物(如火车、卡车、飞机或船舶或任何其他运输工具上的)的任何可移动隔间。

3 非法活动包括但不限于个人、有组织犯罪集团、企业和非国家行为者进行的活动。

4 价值取自2019年运输成本的平均值:

https://www.chinaimportal.com/blog/shipping-costs-when-importing-from-china-a-complete-guide/

 https://www.icontainers.com/ship-container/united-states/

和国际运输成本:

https://moverdb.com/container-shipping/

5 一个20英尺的等效单位(TEU)是一个单位,用于表示基于8'宽8'高的标准20'集装箱体积的货物容量值。

6 美国海关和边境保护局对芬太尼数据的正式报告始于2015年。

7 以2018年6月的汇率转换,约为1080万美元。

8 就本文而言,“主动”技术是指涉及某种形式辐射的释放,而“被动”技术是指在没有任何释放的情况下检测辐射的技术。



A DISCUSSION SERIES ON FACILITATION OF SAFE AND SECURE TRADE

USING NUCLEAR DETECTION TECHNOLOGIES

—The Mutually Supportive Relationship Between Facilitation, Tariff Collection, Safety, and Security

Abstract

Trade and supply chains between countries and regions have formed a closely related, complex, and interconnected web of the global economy. Trade is critical to the economic well-being of a nation and provides significant revenue through the collection of customs tariffs on traded goods. Taxes on international trade account for a large share (often around 40 percent) of total tax revenue in low-income economies. Connectivity in logistics, finance, and information is the foundation of sustainable trade. While growing international trade moving more and more packages at faster speeds enhances the interdependence between countries and regions, the global trade system continues to be vulnerable to transport of commodities posing safety hazards or security risks through exploitation by non-state actors to carry out illegal, illicit, criminal, or terrorist activities.① To address the broad range of illicit activities, States have adopted obligations through legal mechanisms such as United Nation Conventions and Treaties. However, addressing these many obligations is a difficult balance given, among other factors, the complexity of illicit activities, concerns over negative impacts on the global supply chain, and financial and manpower resource constraints.

This paper is the first in a series of three installments that discuss security and safety vulnerabilities of global trade, the impact of those vulnerabilities, and suggest a revised approach to address those vulnerabilities using, in many cases, existing security infrastructure for dual (or multiple) purposes.  The reconsidered approach changes the paradigm that security and safety measures negatively impact the flow of trade.  Instead of looking at safety, security, and revenue collection as diametrically opposed to facilitation of trade, the relationship can be one of harmonious integration for the benefit of all legitimate users of the trade system.

Over the course of this discussion series, we will describe the international supply chain, with a focus on containerized cargo movement, and highlight the cost of vulnerabilities in terms of lost tariff revenue, safety hazards and security risks, and societal costs from illicit trafficking (drugs, cigarettes, hazardous waste, and nuclear material) and commercial fraud.  Through enhanced use of existing infrastructure, with an emphasis on non-intrusive inspection technology and information technology, the economic case will be presented on (1) the cost of infrastructure versus cost of illicit acts, and (2) the cost of continual loss from commercial fraud.

The topic of this discussion series is particularly relevant, given sustained increases in both legal and illicit cargo volumes with corresponding issues with commercial fraud, and the reality that no single country is isolated from events that occur on the global stage.  Sustained issues with the global supply chain both demonstrate that globally coordinated efforts are required to ensure public health, safety, and security, and that science and technology is needed to provide it.

In this first paper of the series, we describe the international containerized cargo supply chain and the societal costs from illicit trafficking of drugs, cigarettes, and hazardous waste. Future installments will discuss illicit trafficking in nuclear materials; evasion of customs duties; additional obligations of States with respect to Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive (CBRNE) threats; the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its relevance to the Belt Road Initiative; and a path forward demonstrating that through the use of science and nuclear detection technology, it is possible that security and speed of commerce no longer need to be viewed as a trade-off.  Instead, it is possible that many of the existing measures used by States to ensure safety, security, and tariff collection, could also facilitate trade.


1. Introduction

Containers2 are an essential vehicle for supply chain logistics, and its use in wide-ranging transportation sectors including sea, land, and air, brings considerable economic benefits to countries. According to the European Commission, "Containerized trade is expected to continue its growth during 2018-2026 at the average rate of 4.6% worldwide. The global container seaports' throughput is forecast to grow by 5.5% annually in 2019-2023, reaching almost 1,000 million TEU." However, the inherent features of containers such as ability to quickly move contents and the invisibility of contents– features that fuel the growth of containerized trade – are also inherent features that enable containers to become a carrier of security and safety threats in the form of illegal activities.③The safety and security threats include, among others, drug-trafficking, counterfeiting of goods; tobacco smuggling;  movement of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons or their components; and safety threats in the form of contaminated goods or uncontrolled hazardous wastes. Additionally, transport of goods in opaque containers can also increase evasion of Customs duties through misdeclaration and under-declaration of goods.

As the size of large container vessels continues to increase and other efficiencies in port and the intermodal transport system are realized, containers will continue to be the cheapest way to ship cargo internationally.  The average global costs of moving a full cargo container from a factory to a buyer’s destination is on the order of US $1500 to $3000 for a 20’ and 40’ container, respectively.④This very low cost comes from economies of scale which can work both for legal and illegal cargo shippers.  Larger ports and container ships moving hundreds to more than 20,000 TEUs5 on a single vessel make legal movement of cargoes more efficient, but also make the movement of illegal cargoes more reliable and difficult to detect.  


2. Illicit Trafficking of Drugs, Cigarettes, and Hazardous Waste

2.1 The Drug Trade

For ocean carriers and their shipping customers, the use by drug smugglers to piggyback on efficient supply chain operations is a concern in international supply chains. The drive to stem drug flows raises costs and slows shipments, while at the same time, highlighting difficult security and safety questions as operators pursue greater size and speed of ocean-going vessels and greater efficiencies in port cargo handling operations. “Ocean carriers saw a series of seizures of large shipments of drugs in the United States (U.S.) and Europe in 2019, and officials say they are a sign of the growing use of commercial shipping operations for increasingly large loads of cocaine, heroin and other drugs. Officials say the growing scale of shipping operations, with the biggest container ships doubling in size over the past decade, has made it an attractive target for drug traffickers.” 

In the absence of data on the flow of all illicit drugs - both those that are seized and those that successfully evade enforcement officials—policymakers can use certain drug seizure data to better understand how and where drugs are crossing borders. According to Mr. Richard Kerlikowske, former Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (2014-2017) and the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (2009-2014), intelligence received from arrested smugglers and law enforcement partners in Mexico indicate that cartels clearly prefer moving high-profit narcotics through the busy ports of entry because their chances of success are better there.iii The preference for smuggling using legal crossings is illustrated by figures from the U.S. showing that a fairly consistent percentage of drug seizures actually occurs at legal crossing points and not at other border locations. During the period 2012-2018, approximately 88% of heroin, 86% of cocaine, 82% of methamphetamine, and 86% of fentanyl6 seized by officials was smuggled through legal crossings.

At ports of entry throughout the world, governments such as the U.S. are increasingly relying on X-ray technology to detect such illegal drugs.v  In January 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) used X-ray technology to detect the largest stash of the synthetic opioid fentanyl ever seized in CBP history. Underneath a load of cucumbers, in a false floor in the rear of the trailer, was nearly 254 pounds of fentanyl and 395 pounds of methamphetamine--with a street value of about $4.6 million. In June 2019, after "anomalies" were detected in several of containers at the Port of Philadelphia, further inspections involving fiber-optic scopes, narcotic-detector dogs and an X-ray scanner led to the discovery of 15,000 bricks of cocaine, weighing a total of about 35,000 pounds, with a street value of approximately US $1 billion.vi In July 2019, Australian border officials used a large X-ray device to crack a major drug-smuggling case involving a second-hand excavator transported to Australia by ship. The hydraulic arm of the construction equipment was stuffed with 384 kilograms of cocaine valued at AUS $132 million.

The cost of the illegal use of the containerized supply chain is immense.  The cost of just policing and interdiction of illicit drugs globally costs over US $100 billion annually.  Meanwhile conservative estimate of the annual value of illicit drug markets is over US $330 billion – a huge resource in the hands of criminal networks and available for fueling corruption.viii Societies also bear a high cost linked to problematic drug use, including the cost of drug-related crime and of health and social services needed by people with drug dependence or people unable to protect themselves from other bloodborne disease.

To address the threats posed by illicit trafficking in drugs, the United Nations has a long history of action on the part of the Member States.  Conventions requiring action include: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol; the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971; and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 with final acts and resolutions. There are several Articles of Interest in this last Convention relevant to trade.  Under Article 15(3), each party to the Convention “shall seek to ensure that commercial carriers and the appropriate authorities at points of entry and exit and other customs control areas co-operate, with a view to preventing unauthorized access to means of transport and cargo and to implementing appropriate security measures.”

Article 9 of the Convention describes other forms of international cooperation and training that the Parties shall undertake.  These mandates include that Parties shall “assist one another to plan and implement research and training programmes designed to share expertise…and, to this end, shall also, when appropriate, use regional and international conferences and seminars to promote co-operation and stimulate discussion on problems of mutual concern, including the special problems and needs of transit States.”  Additionally, the Article describes training programmes that shall deal with detection and monitoring of the movement of drugs, and the methods used for transfer, concealment or disguise.

The Convention does not prescribe the research activities needed or methods (e.g., specific technologies, intelligence, or data analytics) to use for the detection and deterrence of illicit trafficking of drugs, but the value and use of nuclear detection technologies is clear.  As described earlier in this section, the use of X-ray technology has led to significant seizures of drugs.  The use of X-ray technology in large fixed facilities, mobile platforms, and handheld devices is just one application of nuclear detection technology to detect drugs. Other viable options include technologies such as neutron interrogation.  Improvements in the development and use of nuclear detection technologies integrated with other sensors and information can be used to assist in the fight against the illegal trade in drugs.

2.2 The Cigarette Trade

A 2009 study determined that 11.6% of the global cigarette market is illicit, equivalent to 657 billion cigarettes a year and $40.5 billion in lost revenue with the majority of the revenue ($23 billion per year) lost in low and middle income economies.  In the case of cigarettes, the costs presented above were only for lost tariff revenue.  If the cost in terms of lives and medical care are included, the numbers are many times higher.  For example, if illicit cigarette smuggling was eliminated, estimates are that over one million lives would be saved within 6 years (mostly in low and middle income economies). 

A recent seizure in Hong Kong is one example of many that illustrates the illicit cigarette trade problem.  In February 2020, Hong Kong Customs seized 4 shipping containers loaded with some 31 million cigarettes worth about US $11 million. Before reaching Hong Kong, the containers carrying the cigarettes were shipped through Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and mainland China, according to Lee Hoi-man, deputy head of the Revenue and General Investigation Bureau under Customs.xi The circuitous route was used by smugglers in an attempt to avoid detection, illustrating the global connectivity of illicit trafficking, and the contents listed on import documents were changed to throw off law enforcement in various jurisdictions that rely primarily upon risk management systems based on shipping documents.

In 2018, more than 20 million illicit cigarettes were seized in a joint operation involving the Australian Border Force (ABF). The two sea cargo containers of interest from Vietnam were interdicted at a transshipment port before they reached Australia. According to authorities in Australia, the cigarettes were “worth about AUS $14.2 million dollars7 in evaded revenue and had they made it into the Australia market without duty being paid, that money would have likely flown straight to other criminal pursuits.” 

To address the negative effects of illicit usage of tobacco, governments and international bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have taken actions such as the 2012 Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (Protocol).  The Protocol was negotiated under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and is one of the efforts by the parties to the WHO to combat the trade in illicit tobacco products.  The Protocol is an international treaty with the objective of eliminating all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products through a group of measures to be taken by countries acting in cooperation with each other: it is intended to be a global solution to a global problem. As of April 2020, the Protocol counts 58 Parties. 

The Protocol was developed in response to the growing illicit trade in tobacco products, often across borders, and places special emphasis on cooperation at regional and sub-regional levels to combat illicit trade of tobacco products.  Illicit trade poses a serious threat to public health because it increases access to – often cheaper – tobacco products, thus fueling the tobacco epidemic and undermining tobacco control policies. It also causes substantial losses in government revenues, and at the same time contributes to the funding of international criminal activities.

The Protocol requires the establishment of a global tracking and tracing regime within five years of the Protocol’s entry into force, comprising national and regional tracking and tracing systems and a global information sharing point which is only possible by adopting technologies supporting supply chain visibility.   According to the Tobacco Products Directive 2014/40/EU, by 20 May 2019 the traceability system and the security features should be in place in the Member States for cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco, and by 20 May 2024 for all other tobacco products (such as cigars, cigarillos, and smokeless tobacco products). Thus, all the organizations would need to implement traceability and supply chain visibility measures to overcome the illicit trade of tobacco products.

One solution to address the illicit trade in cigarettes and provide better visibility, detection, and deterrence, is the enhanced use of existing technologies and processes.  Not only can the “active” nuclear technologies of X-ray system be used to detect cigarettes, but “passive” radiation detection systems could be used as well. 8 As presented at the World Customs Organization’s 2017 Conference on The Power of Big Data, Advancing Border Management, a global research effort coordinated by the IAEA demonstrated that cigarettes (tobacco and various filters) have distinct radiological characteristics due to presence of different naturally occurring radioactive materials.xv The presence and concentrations of various radioisotopes in tobacco can provide information about the possible origin and form (raw tobacco, stemmed tobacco, etc.). Additionally, the processing, packaging and other technological processes, including the use of additives for bringing raw materials to consumers, can significantly change radioactive contents in cigarettes. Studies have also shown that there is a measurable difference in radioactive content between illegal and legal cigarettes.xvi Using passive radiation detection systems, it may be possible to quickly detect the presence of cigarettes and even differentiate between legal and illegal cigarettes brands. The deployment of passive and/or active detection technologies provides a significant detection and deterrent capability against illicit trafficking of cigarettes.

2.3 The Hazardous Waste Trade

International scrutiny of waste trafficking has revealed an enormous and lucrative criminal industry with considerable involvement of transnational organized crime groups. Illegal trafficking of hazardous and other wastes, including e-waste, is specifically defined under the 1989 Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal with further amendments to the Convention adopted subsequent to its entry into force and that are in force as of 27 May 2018.  Parties to the Convention are required to introduce national/domestic legislation to prevent and punish the illicit trafficking of hazardous waste.

The Convention contains obligations of States to ensure that any transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes is reduced to the minimum and conducted in a manner which will protect human health and the environment; and consider that illegal traffic in hazardous wastes or other wastes is criminal.  The Convention also obligates States to co-operate in activities with other Parties and interested organizations including the dissemination of information on the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and other wastes, in order to improve the environmentally sound management of such wastes and to achieve the prevention of illegal traffic.

Globally, the illegal trade in hazardous waste is estimated to generate revenue of US $12 billion a year for criminal enterprises. Depending on the requirements in each country, illegal disposal is estimated to be up to four times cheaper than legal treatment.xviii The European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL) suggests that as much as 85% of the non-hazardous waste exported from the EU is shipped illegally or in non-compliance with regulations. Globally, the annual turnover in the illegal trade of environmentally sensitive commodities is estimated at around $21.33 billion.

As a result of the high volume of material and the difficulty in detecting the movement of it, illegal trafficking of waste has become one of the fastest growing areas of crime, attracting the growing interest of unscrupulous brokers as well as criminal networks. To evade law enforcement agencies, smugglers trafficking in hazardous waste and electronic waste often customs-code classify goods as second-hand products and thereby bypass customs regulations and international conventions. Criminals shift swiftly between types of contraband or to alternative geographic locations in response to geographically or thematically limited enforcement operations. 

According to the 2016 joint United Nations Environment (UNEP) - Interpol report, environmental crime dwarfs the US $3 billion illegal trade in small arms.xxi  It is the world's fourth-largest criminal enterprise after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking. The UNEP estimated that the annual cost of environmental crime in 2016 was between US $91–258 billion, with waste accounting for $12 billion of the total, making the money lost due to environmental crime 10,000 times greater than the amount of money spent by international agencies on combatting it - just US $20-30 million. Environmental crimes can potentially affect a variety of sectors in any society and are often linked with the exploitation of disadvantaged communities, human rights abuses, money laundering and corruption.

An untapped technology existing at many points of entry, and at a number of transshipment hubs, that could be used to detect illegal trafficking of many hazardous wastes and help States fulfill obligations under the Basel Convention is the use of Radiation Portal Monitors (RPMs).  Many of the wastes covered by the Basel Convention, listed in Annexes VIII and IX, in particular, include metal and metal-bearing wastes and wastes containing principally inorganic constituents. From a radiological perspective, the majority of these wastes contain measurable quantities of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) and can be easily detected using RPMs; and depending on the type of detector provide further insight into the origin and makeup of the material.  When compared against expected radiation responses, the RPMs provide a powerful tool for verifying contents of a cargo declaration. RPMs are a fast and inexpensive way of getting this valuable information, and identifying anomalies in paperwork, with minimal impedance of traffic for inspections.  With the additional use of active nuclear detection technologies that can provide images of containers, depending on the technology, additional chemical/element identification, the power of nuclear detection technologies in combatting illicit trafficking is apparent.


3. Summary

This paper described the containerized cargo supply chain and the societal costs from illicit trafficking of drugs, cigarettes, and hazardous waste. Application of existing security infrastructure that can detect and deter illicit trafficking in these commodities was briefly discussed. The next installment will discuss commercial fraud within the global containerized supply chain, illicit trafficking in nuclear material, and obligations of States with respect to nuclear safety and security. The last installment will cover the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its relevance to the Belt Road Initiative; and discuss approaches for management of risk in trade.  The installment will conclude the series by describing a path forward demonstrating that through the use of science and nuclear detection technology, it is possible that security and speed of commerce no longer need to be viewed as a trade-off.  Instead, it is possible that many of the existing measures used by States to ensure safety, security, and tariff collection, could also facilitate trade.

1 An illegal act is a violation of law, but even this term can apply to civil offenses. Illicit carries a strong connotation of immorality and could also be illegal, and criminal denotes punishable wrongdoing. A ‘criminal act’ is normally covered by criminal or penal law in a State. In addition, criminal acts involving nuclear or other radioactive material may constitute offences related to acts of terrorism, [including those set out in the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its Amendment and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism] which, in some States, are subject to special legislation. (International Atomic Energy Agency, 2015).

2 For the purposes of this document only, the term container includes maritime containers, aircraft containers and any portable compartment in which freight is placed (as on a train, truck, aircraft or ship or any other means of conveyance) for transportation.

3 Illegal activities include, but are not limited to, those conducted by individuals, organized criminal groups, businesses, and non-state actors.

4 Values are taken as averages of 2019 shipping costs from https://www.chinaimportal.com/blog/shipping-costs-when-importing-from-china-a-complete-guide/, https://www.icontainers.com/ship-container/united-states/, and also https://moverdb.com/container-shipping/ for international shipping costs.

5 One Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) is a unit used to express the value of cargo capacity based on the volume of a standard 20’ long container with an 8’ width and 8’6” height.

6 Official reporting of data for fentanyl by US CBP only began in 2015.

7 Approximately US $10.8 million using June 2018 conversion rates.

8 For purposes of this paper, “active” technologies are those involving the emission of some form of radiation, while “passive” technologies are those detect radiation without any emissions.

扫一扫在手机打开当前页

重庆市商务委员会微信公众号

纪检举报电话

商务投诉热线