Skip to content

Good results achieved in the combat against grey economy and economic crime in 2020–2023

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 21.5.2024 10.14
Press release
Kuvassa lukee harmaan talouden ja talousrikollisuuden torjuntaohjelma 2020-2023.

In 2020–2023, more than 50 projects tackling the shadow economy and economic crime were carried out in Finland. They succeeded in preventing abuses, promoting healthy competition between companies and supporting a fair labour market by improving the transparency and openness of business activities, for example.

The projects were carried out as part of the Action Plan for Tackling the Grey Economy and Economic Crime. New recommendations for measures were outlined in more than 30 projects or sub-projects. 

Phenomena related to work-related exploitation, human trafficking, wage dumping and undeclared work were examined comprehensively in the action plan. To prevent these phenomena, cost-efficient operating models that support cooperation between authorities and provide them with effective tools are necessary. To this end, a multi-authority cooperation model for monitoring the exploitation of foreign labour and the Work Help Finland mobile application have been developed for foreign workers arriving and living in Finland. In addition, the project for the action plan prepared a long-term strategy for work-related exploitation that will be implemented through a separate action plan adopted in February 2024.

The action plan has supported many studies required by different projects, such as legislative projects on the combat against money laundering and terrorism, and improved the analytic capabilities and the exchange of information between the authorities. 

Key authorities involved in prevention also have a common system for monitoring resources. It can be used to identify bottlenecks in the activities of the authorities and to direct measures to where they are most needed.

Several legislative amendments have also enhanced the cooperation between the authorities. In particular, improving the exchange of information has made it easier to identify risky operators in the grey economy and economic crime. 

The projects to prevent the shadow economy included the Happy Taxpayer communication project aimed at young people and immigrants. It increased the target groups’ awareness of the rules of fair working life. Another key preventive measure was the introduction of tax number at shipyards in July 2021.

Action plan results in 2020–2023:

  • The operating conditions of the authorities were improved through analytics projects that introduced new technologies to support decision-making and the review of official data.
  • A database was created for the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority to enable more effective antitrust enforcement and to increase the detection of cartels.
  • A series of amendments to the taxi regulation in the Act on Transport Services was implemented to reduce the risk of grey economy and to improve the functioning and supervision of taxi services.
  • A model for a request for an investigation was created for receivers to enable more effective detection of hidden crime in bankruptcies.
  • To support legislative work and future projects, several studies were carried out to examine the gaps in the exchange of information in the combat against money laundering and terrorism, the boundary between employment and entrepreneurship in unclear cases and issues related to the competence of the authorities.
  • A cooperation model was created for the Finnish Customs and the Finnish Food Authority to combat cross-border food fraud and the capabilities of the Finnish Food Authority to prevent crime in the food chain were enhanced.
  • Public access to tax information was expanded with a legislative amendment that will enter into force on 1 September 2024.

Broad cooperation helps in the prevention work – New action plan under preparation

The grey economy and economic crime are serious phenomena in Finland. They are detrimental to companies, workers and society as a whole. A failure to pay statutory fees and taxes causes a dent in general government finances. 

Extensive cooperation between different authorities is needed in the prevention work. The strategy for combating the grey economy and economic crime prepared jointly by the authorities will guide this work. The strategy will be implemented through an action plan. 

The Government of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo decided to update the strategy and action plan on 21 March 2024. Minister of Employment Arto Satonen will be responsible for the work. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has begun the preparatory work in a working group that includes representatives from key ministries and authorities. The programme will be prepared cross-sectorally in accordance with previous drafting practices. The preparations are scheduled to be completed during 2024. The action plan now under preparation is the ninth of its kind.


Jan Hjelt, Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 048 940 Päivi Kantanen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 048 938 
Juha Tuovinen, Chief Superintendent, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 295 488 364 
Janne Marttinen, Director, Finnish Tax Administration – Grey Economy Information Unit, tel. +358 29 512 6066 
Tarja Valsi, Director, Finnish Tax Administration, tel. +358 40 512 0445