On 20 October, a report from Global Financial Integrity says that international trade system has witnessed the rapid growth of various types of free trade zones (FTZ) in recent decades. While the major attraction for companies operating in FTZ is the reduced or omitted import taxes on goods, traders are also drawn to the speed provided by streamlined procedures and limited customs oversight in many of the zones. This report documents how some of these very attributes that attract companies to the zones – less regulatory oversight, reduced paperwork, streamlined procedures – also help facilitate illicit activity by smugglers, money launderers, and organised criminal networks. It argues that steps must be taken to improve customs oversight of the zones. To assist in this process, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) makes several recommendations directed at international organisations and national governments to improve the oversight of FTs and reduce the current degrees of opacity.