Assessing & Minimizing Customs-Related Corruption Risk in Sub-Saharan Africa Ports


As many Western nations in the Americas and Europe struggle to climb out of a seemingly endless economic recession, Sub-Saharan African (“SSA”) nations, over the past few years, have experienced steady growth in their various economies. The steady and substantial increase of maritime cargo over the past decade in SSA also serves as a reflection of this economic growth. Outdated, inefficient ports, however, continue to hinder burgeoning trade in the region. Moreover, bribery and corruption at these ports inflict significant economic loss upon both the African countries and business entities involved in the maritime transaction flowing through the region. Additionally, with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) enforcement on the rise in the U.S., the risks involved in doing business with corrupt entities could cost a company millions in lost revenue, fines and penalties.

This article aims to shed some light on the complex trading arena of the maritime ports of SSA countries. It will also address problematic issues related to the ever-present element of corruption at these ports and how to evade the contagion.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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