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The regulation of non‐vessel‐operating common carriers (NVOCC) and customs brokers: Loopholes big enough to fit container ships

Nikos Passas (Northeastern University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Kimberly Jones (Northeastern University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 9 January 2007




The aim of this paper is to contribute to one's understanding of vulnerabilities for abuse in the realm of trade and commerce, and to appreciate how inattention to this issue undermines all other financial controls.


The authors review the US rules and regulations regarding non‐vessel‐operating common carriers and Customs brokers pointing out ways in which the current regulatory framework can be violated.


It was found that the potential for the commission of serious crime through import/export activities is high and requires urgent attention, without which all AML/CFT and anti‐corruption efforts can be rendered ineffective.

Research limitations/implications

More data and analysis of trade transparency and national rules as well as cases highlighting concretely how these are being infringed is indispensable for planning and implementation of trade transparency initiatives.

Practical implications

As trade transparency units or similar projects are likely to emerge, strategic thinking, coordination of efforts and maximization of synergies for improved governance and crime control are imperative. Failure to do so will allow serious misconduct and security risks to remain high.


AML/CFT and anti‐corruption practitioners, donor organizations and technical assistance providers ought to be familiar with the significance of weak capacities to trace and monitor trade transactions and how to connect this issue with wider governance and crime control policies/measures.



Passas, N. and Jones, K. (2007), "The regulation of non‐vessel‐operating common carriers (NVOCC) and customs brokers: Loopholes big enough to fit container ships", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 84-93.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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