The priority of reducing Illicit Financial Flows has been established as part of development plans for many countries and in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the General Assembly in 2015. UNCTAD and UNODC have developed methodological guidelines for countries to estimate illicit financial flows, including financial flows from trade mis-invoicing.
The UNCTAD guideline includes two methods for calculating illicit financial flows from trade mis-invoicing, the Partner Country Method (PCM) and the Price Filter Method (PFM). This paper explores estimating illicit financial flows from trade using a new method called the grey re-exports method. Grey re-exports refer to a scheme of mis-invoicing which involves the importation and re-exportation of goods. Goods are imported to one country from another country and are then re-exported to a third country as exports from the second country rather than as re-exports. This scheme is seen in countries that have special trade agreements as part of a customs union. This study was developed under the project “Statistics and Data for Measuring Illicit Financial Flows in the Asia Pacific Region”, which pilot tested the IFF methodology; one of the pilot countries in the project was Kyrgyzstan, thus, this paper focuses on emergence of such flows in Kyrgyzstan.