Misinvoicing in mineral trade: what do we really know

Olle Ostensson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
115 Downloads (Pure)


The present paper reviews studies of trade misinvoicing by three organizations. One of them is general in nature and does not address directly the issue of trade misinvoicing of minerals. One arrives at some conclusions which are difficult to check but which seem to indicate that misinvoicing is of major importance in African mineral trade. The third arrives at similar conclusions and contains detailed data that make it possible to check the accuracy of the claims. The review shows that the studies suffer from important weaknesses: elementary checks of data have not been carried out and any anomaly is considered proof of illicit capital flows without any further investigation. Thus, while we do not really know much with any certainty about the significance of misinvoicing in mineral trade, we do know that the published estimates are gross exaggerations. The organizations responsible for the estimates would be well advised to have future publications peer-reviewed by external reviewers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalMineral Economics
Issue number1-2
Early online date14 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Commodity trade
  • Illicit capital flows
  • Minerals trade
  • Misinvoicing


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