The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network has released the results and lessons learned from 10 years of collecting data of cancerous corrupt demands in maritime trade.

This data has been collected in over a decade through MACN’s Anonymous Incident Reporting platform, a system designed to allow the maritime industry to report when it has been faced with corrupt demands in ports globally. To date, the reporting system has close to 50,000 incidents reported in over 1,000 ports, across 149 countries with the Suez Canal topping the corruption ranks.

Corruption is having a real impact on trade and livelihoods

This report – the first of its kind covering maritime corruption – provides a unique insight into the scale, type, and volume of corruption in the maritime supply chain.

Across the world’s ports, corrupt demands are most commonly made for cigarettes, alcohol, and cash.

According to MACN data, the most commonly reported actors to demand bribes are port authorities (20.9%), pilots (16.5%), customs (12.7%), and port agents (8.2%).

“While multiple actors are reportedly involved in making corrupt demands, the consequence of rejecting such demands is similar across the world’s ports – delay of the vessel, which has knock-on detrimental effects,” MACN stated.

“At a time when supply chains and economies are under increasing pressure, corruption is having a real impact on trade and livelihoods – onshore and at sea,” said MACN CEO, Cecilia Müller Torbrand.

During the Covid-19 pandemic MACN has noticed that the incidents have dropped in numbers, most likely due to reduced interaction with port authorities and increased adoption of electronic systems for vessel clearance.

MACN is looking to make the incident data available to its members through country and port profiles, to help members understand corruption risks across the world and better prepare for port calls.

“In an ideal world, every seafarer has an app on their phone which allows them to report and review data in real time. There is a need to decentralise data collection and reporting, and technology can help with that,” commented Martin Krafft, vice president of fleet management at Fednav.

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