Whether it’s a global pandemic, a cost-of-living crisis, or a new series of sanctions at our doorstep, the current climate of uncertainty continues to impact us, but it has also come at the dawn of an exciting new digital era, and with it —a chance to completely reshape trade for the better.


Now more than ever, there is the need to nurture and bolster the flow of goods, while also ensuring compliance with customs laws and regulations.


While 811.72M/TEU are shipped annually, the average global cargo inspection rate stood at just 1.07%. This caused a direct global loss of $972.67B in customs revenue, alongside severe threats to national security, safety, and economy.


For customs authorities, driving performance through data and technology is a crucial area of focus for the road ahead to better facilitate trade while increasing customs and tax revenue and cracking down on corruption, illicit trade, criminal activities, and threats to national security.


Publican’s unique technology enables exactly that. Its impact was clearly seen in a major European country facing a significant problem of growing counterfeit fraud in imported goods alongside an economic need to recoup and generate revenues alongside an expectation of the EU to digitize government agencies. Publican was brought on board to bring their digital future to fruition.


What did Publican do?


Publican has analyzed swathes of incoming shipment data for this country over a short period of time to highlight the potential national value to be gained by improving duties collection, optimizing the interception of dangerous cargo, and streamlining clearance procedures.


After examining thousands of incoming shipments and more than €540m worth of cargo, Publican’s Digital Vetting Technology was able to discover consistent evasions flying under the radar


• Approximately 20% of the country’s shipments were flagged with a medium-to-high probability of fraud.


• Almost half of all flagged risks were connected to undervaluation, with quality assurance, weight, and company discrepancies also playing their part.


• In this sample, More than €50 million worth of undervalued and misclassified goods were found.


• After inspecting and calculating the overall data, Publican found an expected €3 billion in additional annual revenue in the first year of operation with Publican’s technology


Publican’s impact


The task of maintaining and improving this country’s outstanding position in a state of economic downturn and uncertainty, infused by the war in Ukraine and unstable energy prices is significant. The results of the data analysis point to the benefit and need for robust AI driven technology in customs processes and the ability of Publican’s platform to serve as an innovative revenue mobilization and enforcement tool that can enforce national safety and stop illicit trade patterns.


How Publican’s solution works


Designed specifically by customs experts, Publican’s Digital Vetting Technology is capable of automatically and digitally inspecting 100% of shipments to detect any subtle irregularities connected to a shipment’s declaration of goods in order to provide the most comprehensive shipment risk profile in the industry – covering full inspection insight pre-arrival, while also calculating the exact revenue to be earned from each correct declaration.


It can expose a much wider range of risks, otherwise invisible to today’s standard customs checks by leveraging unique real time data from thousands of global sources (including Chinese sources) across all entities involved in the shipment instead of leaning on historical, manual, or partial databases to gain insight on them. This included traders, products, HS Codes, companies, facilities, legal records, social media posts and more.


Based on the results of the analysis, each shipment receives a recommendation of Inspect (Red), Caution (Yellow) or Cleared (Green) and includes reasoning and evidence backing the recommendation.


Publican in action


In one case involving a shipment of night shirts and pajamas arriving from China, Publican utilized its wealth of external data, including its unique access to Chinese sources, to identify that the goods price per unit (2.25$ per unit) was abnormally low compared to prices of similar products, which constituted a risk of undervaluation. Publican also found that the goods’ price per unit is abnormally low in comparison with the average price per unit of previous shipments to to this country with the same HS6.



Electric engines


In another case involving a shipment of electric engines from China, Publican analyzed the declared HS Code and discovered that it did not line up with goods’ submitted weight of 220kg (or 150g per unit). The declared price of $2.50 per unit was also abnormally low and did not coincide with the declared HS Code.



Top benefits



The major benefits obtained by the use of Publican’s Digital Vetting Technology include:


Support Revenue Mobilization and National Recovery:


Generating new revenue streams to accelerate economic growth, including customs duties and indirect tax revenues.


Combat Illicit Trade:


Securing legitimate trade and safeguarding from counterfeit, tracked, and sanctioned trading of goods, as well as those produced through exploitative labor.


Meet the Requirements of Digital Innovation:


Through Digital Vetting Technology, which uses cutting edge approaches keep customs at the forefront of modern processes.

Automated Pre-Arrival Inspection:


Full spectrum analysis before a ship has arrived at port enhances the capacity, coordination, and flow of goods into the country.

Meet Compliance & EU Customs Reforms:


A unique infrastructure enabling interconnected data sharing of EU Customs, as well as other verified global sanctions, ensuring real-time compliance mechanisms for trade.


Publican’s digital vetting is the way forward


By utilizing a solution that uses cutting-edge AI-driven technology and a huge wealth of unique global data, Publican’s innovative approach to the digital inspection of the goods takes this country’s inspection capabilities way beyond the scope of a simple imports’ declaration or a goods manifest:


• Publican has the unique ability of optimizing the poor-quality data submitted to customs agencies.


• It exposes a wide range of exclusive fraud indicators:



• It provides full & real-time visibility into the entire complex supply chain of goods, with a multi-dimensional data model that delivers a full spectrum analysis of all entities (including extensive insight into China), reflecting real time, regulatory trade conditions.


• It’s only solution that provides quantifiable impact, by calculating the exact revenue to be earned by the corrected declaration of each flagged shipments.



Publican’s solution made it possible to identify and flag shipments that otherwise would have gone completely unnoticed and in doing so collect billions of Euros in revenues left on the table while creating full transparency for all goods entering the country’s borders. All of this was possible by analyzing just a sample of 10,000 shipments. Imagine what could be found if 100% of the country’s shipments were digitally vetted?