In many parts of the world, corruption is common and a part of everyday life. Apart from the corrosive effect this has on quality of service and availability of appropriate justice, this also has a negative effect on commerce. Reputable companies and people are unable to compete, so the market is left to others who are willing to ignore laws put in place to prevent corruption. Where this occurs, the economy suffers due to lack of investment which eventually contributes to poverty, pollution and poor health for the majority of the people who do not profit from corrupt activities. This is the type of environment where fuel fraud can flourish. In this latest blog, Tracerco will discuss how the implementation of a fuel marking program can help in the fight against fuel corruption
Fuel adulteration, smuggling, counterfeiting and grade swapping has a direct impact on brand owners, governments, consumers and the environment. Estimates of the global illicit fuel sales vary widely, however, it is thought to be in the region of $150 billion per annum. This represents direct losses to governments and brand owners and is money that goes straight into the pockets of criminals and terrorist organisations, strengthening them and funding further illegal activities. It is proven that a legitimate fuel marking program can recover this revenue for governments and brand owners. It has a positive impact on the environment as it also reduces pollution and reduces damage to automotive engines and turbines.
With fuel marking, it becomes possible to identify where adulterated fuel has entered the supply chain or identify misdeclaration of volumes. Without marking, the legitimacy of fuel can only be verified by following the associated paperwork trail. This documentation can however be falsified with a few dollars passed in the right direction or a telephone call to the right person. By adding a marker to fuel, governments can obtain a permanent indicator of the legitimacy of that product. Testing for the presence or absence of this marker provides scientific, court defensible evidence of illegal activity which makes fuel adulteration, smuggling, counterfeiting and grade swapping very hard to ignore.
A further benefit of a fuel marking program is its positive influence in reducing the tolerance and pervasiveness of corruption. This is often overlooked because it cannot readily be measured. As a fuel marking program increases the risk detection and prosecution for criminals increases, this drives them out of the market leaving the field clear for everyone else to do business in an open and honest way. Therefore, the overall sense of justice is increased as people know that offenders are likely to be caught, increasing discipline and respect within the industry. This provides further confidence that doing business in an ethical way will be advantageous and as a result the vicious circle of corruption, within this industry at least, can be broken.
Tracerco’s fuel marking programs and brand authentication technologies are estimated to have helped customers to recover billions of dollars in lost revenues, subsidies and taxes.
All of our fuel marking programs are tailored to precise client requirements, helping to deliver brand protection, product authentication and taxation recovery. They range anywhere from straightforward marker system supply through to full turnkey project management.