On 13 October, an Occasional paper from RUSI identifies factors that render free-trade zones (FTZ) vulnerable to illicit trade and financial crime and proposes measures to detect and prevent it. Based on 74 interviews, 2 research workshops and an analysis of publicly available literature, this paper identifies key challenges faced by the case study countries, which are also likely to apply to other countries that host FTZ. It says that, over the past year, progress has been made to improve the image and use of the zones, including by the OECD with its Code of Conduct for Clean Free Trade Zones and the World Free Zones Organisation – an industry group representing over 600 FTZ around the world – with its Safe Zone certification programme. Advances are also said to have been made at the national level.
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