U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


Could you please provide an overview on the different forms of corruption in cross-border business, both with regards to the implication of public authorities and the private sector? I would appreciate a review of relevant literature, if possible including academic literature.


1. Corruption at the border and in customs authorities
2. Corruption, money-laundering and international financial flows
3. Multinational firms’ involvement in corruption


Given the urgency of the request, this paper only gives a snapshot of existing literature. The list should not be considered exhaustive. Moreover, from the public sector perspective, it mostly looks at the involvement of customs and border control authorities. It should be noted that cross-border business operations can also involve other public authorities, similarly to domestic business activities.


The globalisation of the economy has led to an increase in cross-border business transactions involving on one hand countries with different laws on bribery and corruption, and on the other hand multinational companies with different ethical and business conduct standards. This creates vulnerabilities, grey areas and opportunities for corruption.

This paper provides an overview of literature regarding corruption in public authorities involved in cross-border business, namely border control and customs; corruption in the supply chain; corruption risks related to cross-border financial flows and money-laundering; and companies involvement in bribery.


Sofia Wickberg, Transparency International, [email protected]


Dieter Zinnbauer, Ph.D., Transparency International




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