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Determinants and Pervasiveness of the Evasion of Customs Duties

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  • Sébastien Jean
  • Cristina Mitaritonna

Abstract

Evasion of customs duties is a serious concern in developing countries, where tariff receipts are often important, but their collection is often problematic. We study theoretically and empirically the determinants of evasion across countries and products, based on a systematic analysis of discrepancies in trade declarations - when available - for both partners. We conclude that evasion of customs duties is greater in poorer countries, especially where the rule of law is limited. The consequences are likely to be the most serious in the poorest countries, where we find a one percentage point higher tariff to be associated on average with an understatement of imports of 1% or more. We assess some policy remedies and conclude that automated customs data treatment may be particularly useful.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2010-26.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2010-26

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Keywords: Tax evasion; Custom duty; Institutions; International trade;

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References

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  1. Wansbeek, T.J. & Kapteyn, A.J., 1989. "Estimation of the error-components model with incomplete panels," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-364362, Tilburg University.
  2. Antoine Bou�t & Yvan Decreux & Lionel Fontagné & Sébastien Jean & David Laborde, 2008. "Assessing Applied Protection across the World," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 850-863, November.
  3. De Wulf, Luc, 1981. "Statistical analysis of under- and overinvoicing of imports," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 303-323, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Pierre-Louis Vézina; Lorenzo Rotunno, 2010. "Chinese networks and tariff evasion," IHEID Working Papers 20-2010, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Nov 2010.
  2. Ayadi, Lotfi & Benjamin, Nancy & Bensassi, Sami & Raballand, Gael, 2013. "Estimating informal trade across Tunisia's land borders," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6731, The World Bank.
  3. Ferrantino, Michael J. & Liu, Xuepeng & Wang, Zhi, 2012. "Evasion behaviors of exporters and importers: Evidence from the U.S.–China trade data discrepancy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 141-157.
  4. Mirco Tonin, 2014. "Reporting import tariffs (and other taxes)," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 153-173, February.

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