Peru and the US have signed an agreement establishing a Trade Transparency Unit (TTU).

The agreement was signed by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) assistant secretary for international affairs and chief diplomatic officer, Alan Bersin, who signed on behalf of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Peru’s deputy superintendent of the National Tax Administration (SUNAT), Iv?Luyo.

Illicit schemes

The TTU partnership aims to aid the detection of trade-based money laundering (TBML) and other illicit trade schemes used by transnational criminal organisations and terrorist groups.

The new agreement also aims to enhance information sharing between the US and Peru, with

HSI and SUNAT exchanging import and export information on merchandise shipped between the two countries.

Through HSI’s Data Analysis and Research for Trade Transparency System, users will be able to see both sides of trade transactions, thus making those transactions transparent.

Best practice

This capability should help both HSI and SUNAT identify international trade anomalies and financial irregularities indicative of TBML, smuggling, customs fraud, movement of counterfeit goods and other import-export crimes.

TTU information-sharing methodology has been highlighted by the Financial Action Task Force as an example of best practice in combatting TBML.

US Information sharing

HSI currently has information-sharing partnerships with 11 countries including Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and now Peru.

Through its international operations, HSI has 62 operational attaché offices in 46 countries around the world as well as special agents who work closely with foreign law enforcement agencies through a network of specialised units known as Transnational Criminal Investigative Units.