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Philippines; United States: Agreement to Launch Trade Transparency Unit

(July 9, 2013) On June 20, 2013, the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) 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 <?Manila, in order to share information and detect commercial fraud and money laundering in trade transactions. (Press Release, HSI, Philippine Bureau of Customs Sign Agreement to Establish TradeTransparency Unit (June 24, 2013).)

Pursuant to the agreement, HSI will allow BOC 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 BOC 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.)