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Dominican Republic; United States: Agreement to Launch Trade Transparency Unit

(Nov. 1, 2013) On September 26, 2013, the Dominican Republic’s Customs Authority (DRCA) and the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement signed a letter of intent to set up a trade transparency unit in Santo Domingo, in order to share information and improve detection of commercial fraud and money laundering in trade transactions. (Press Release, HSI, Dominican Customs Sign Agreement to Establish Trade Transparency Unit (Sept. 26, 2013).) Pursuant to the agreement, HSI will allow DRCA to access its Data Analysis and Research for Trade Transparency System (DARTTS), which provides foreign and domestic information on trade transactions, allowing users to analyze both sides of such operations and thereby making them transparent. (Id.)

Use of DARTTS under the auspices of the agreement will better enable DRCA and HSI to spot anomalies in international trade flows and financial inconsistencies that may be indicative of export-import crimes, such as shipments of counterfeit products, customs fraud, and money laundering. (Id.)