The Challenge

From household goods to niche products, illicit shippers often capitalize on the blind spots of authorities who lack familiarity with the finer industry details, such as a product’s markings or its standard weight, to evade suspicion. With thousands of shipments to manage and the flow of goods at the forefront, this can be especially difficult without compromising the customs process.

The Story

Misdeclaration of Goods:

In 2022, a Central African country, using Publican’s AI-driven Digital Shipment Vetting Solution, was able to identify which shipments coming in may be fraudulent or misdeclared.

Publican flagged a shipment of bed covers arriving from China with a high risk of misdeclaration, unearthing insight about both the true weight of the goods declared, as well as the shipper’s troubling past including previous customs violations, fines, and trademark infringements.

How Publican Uncovered this?

Analyzing the Shipper’s History

In April 2017, the Chinese exporter paid a fine of 7000 RMB after infringing upon trademark rights, exporting shoes marked with a “KIKE” logo and hook pattern in attempts to imitate the Nike brand. Boxes of shoes with “three stripes” attempting to imitate Adidas were also discovered.

The Shipment’s Weight Declaration

The declared weight submitted for the shipment of 136.82kg/bale was abnormally high compared to the historical declared average weight of bed covers, suggesting either a much larger quantity of covers being brought in, or the smuggling of additional alternative goods hidden among the covers.

detecting shipments
Findings & Conclusions

Publican’s system automatically and immediately flagged the shipment as high risk based on vital insight into the shipper’s legal history alongside irregularities connected to the weight declaration. Authorities investigated the shipment and discovered a clear misdeclaration.

For borders processing thousands of shipments every year, Publican’s solution enables customs agencies to take back control at scale and retrieve significant revenues lost through the misdeclaration of goods. For more information, visit