Controlling the Zone: Balancing Facilitation and Control to Combat Illicit Trade in Free Trade Zones. SEMINAL REPORT

In 2013, ICC BASCAP published a seminal report, “Controlling the zone: Balancing facilitation and control to combat illicit trade in the world’s Free Trade Zones”. This 2020 update aims to build on that report by assessing the current environment as well as to shed light on the trends of counterfeiting and other forms of illicit trade facilitated within free trade zones (FTZs). This 2020 update:

  • Looks deeper into the role of FTZs in the context of their unplanned contribution to the global trade in counterfeiting and piracy. In the last few years, this issue has garnered much attention among policy makers and law enforcement. Increasingly, national governments are also recognising the key role that Customs play in FTZs and have strengthened enforcement—however, there is a lot more left to be done.
  • Recognises the impact of the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV or COVID-19) on companies’ supply chains, trade, and vulnerabilities that allow opportunities for illicit traders to move contraband in FTZs.
  • Addresses the impact that counterfeiting in FTZs has on SMEs, their supply chains and

business operations.

  • Provides specific case examples of enforcement actions including Customs seizures within or having transited FTZs and other examples where FTZs have been exploited by criminal groups.
  • Presents current solutions developed by national governments, private entities and intergovernmental organisations to mitigate abuse in FTZs.
  • Offers new recommendations for governments, Customs and FTZ operators and the World Customs Organisation.

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