The Definition, Reasons and History of Smuggling

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The Definition, Reasons and History of Smuggling

Smuggling means illegal transportation of objects or people across an international border. There are various motivations to smuggle. These include the participation in illegal trade, such as in the drug trade, in illegal immigration or emigration, tax evasion, getting contraband in or out of the country so that it can be sold for high profits. Examples of non-financial motivations include bringing banned items past a security checkpoint (such as airline security).

Smuggling has a long history. In England smuggling first became a recognized problem in the 13th century, following the creation of a national Customs collection system by Edward I in 1275. Medieval smuggling focused on the export of highly taxed export goods – notably wool and hides. Merchants, however, sometimes smuggled other goods to circumvent prohibitions or embargoes on particular trades. Grain, for instance, was usually prohibited from export, unless prices were low, because of fears that grain exports would raise the food prices in England and thus cause food shortages.

In England wool was smuggled to the continent in the 17th century, under the pressure of high excise taxes. The high rates of duty on tea, wine and spirits, coming in from mainland Europe at this time made the import of such goods and the evasion of the duty a highly profitable business for impoverished fishermen and seafarers.

Task II. Find the words synonymous to:

Fraud, payment, security, profit, evasion, illegal, to circumvent, border, pressure, banned, shortage, to raise, to cause, commercial, collection, motivation, merchant, impoverished.

Task III. Translate the sentences from English into Russian.

1. Goods which are subject to Customs control (e.g., imported goods which have not yet cleared through Customs) can be temporarily stored at special warehouses before they are released by Customs.

2. The period for storage should not exceed two months, but an importer can ask the Customs authorities to extend it to up to four months.

3. The aim of the Federal Customs Service cooperation with international organizations is to upgrade the Russian Customs Service, as well as promote its interests in the world Customs community.

4. Revenue collection was entrusted to the Russian Principalities and by the 15th century the right to collect the duties and be Customs officials could be inherited in some towns, villages and small administrative settlements, the ‘volosty’.

5. Customs procedures for arriving passengers at many international airports, and some road crossings, are separated into Red and Green Channels.

6. Passengers going through the Green Channel are only subject to spot checks and save time. But, if a passenger going through the Green Channel is found to have goods above the Customs limits on them or carrying prohibited items, they may be prosecuted for making a false declaration to Customs, by virtue of having gone through the Green Channel.

Task IV. Match left and right.


1. запрещенные предметы medieval smuggling
2. незаконная иммиграция или эмиграция tax evasion
3. нехватка продовольствия (a) highly profitable business
4. средневековая контрабанда banned items
5. контрольный пункт (безопасности) illegal immigration or emigration
6. высокодоходный бизнес excise taxes
7. уклонение от уплаты налогов (a) security checkpoint
8. акцизные сборы food shortages


Task V. Translate the following text into English using the word-combinations from the previous tasks.

Управление рисками

Управление рисками – это процесс принятия и выполнения управленческих решений, направленных на снижение вероятности возникновения неблагоприятного результата и минимизацию возможных потерь, вызванных его реализацией.

Современная экономическая наука представляет риск как вероятное событие, в результате наступления которого могут произойти только нейтральные или отрицательные последствия.

Цель риск-менеджмента в сфере экономики – повышение конкурентоспособности хозяйствующих субъектов (business entities) с помощью защиты от реализации чистых рисков.

Базовыми методами риск-менеджмента являются отказ от риска, снижение, передача и принятие.

Риск-инструментарий значительно шире. Он включает в себя политические, организационные, правовые, экономические, социальные инструменты, причем риск-менеджмент как система допускает возможность одновременного применения нескольких методов и инструментов риск-управления. Наиболее часто применяемым инструментом риск-менеджмента является страхование. Страхование предполагает передачу ответственности за возмещение предполагаемого ущерба сторонней организации (страховой компании).

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