On 30th September, the World Customs Organisation released a research paper which examines the current situation regarding Customs procedures and controls related to Free Zones.  The first section of this paper outlines, from a Customs perspective, the definitions and characteristics of Free Zones as well as the economic benefits offered by them.  The second section addresses the risks posed by Free Zones, while the third section offers an analysis of the situation where Customs’ involvement and authority related to Free Zones tend to be at a low level, behind which prevails the perceived misconception of ‘Extraterritoriality’ of Free Zones.  The report says that it has been pointed out by existing literature that Free Zones attract not only legitimate business but also illicit trade or other illicit activities that take advantage of the regulatory exemptions of Free Zones.  It says that the risks seen from Free Zones primarily concern illicit activities perpetrated by exploiting certain aspects of Free Zones perhaps unbeknownst to policy makers.  In addition to illicit activities, such as money laundering, the paper presents some cases of illicit trade and describe their global and interregional nature. The effects of illicit activities on policies are also referenced.


See also –


This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: