Controlling the Zone: Balancing facilitation and control to combat illicit trade in the world’s Free Trade Zones (2013)

  • 27 May 2013
Free Trade Zones

This BASCAP report calls for increased regulation and better management of Free Trade Zones (FTZs) which, without proper oversight, can be vulnerable to counterfeiting and piracy, it includes recommendations to enhance intellectual property enforcement in these areas.

The BASCAP report was presented at the 2013 World Customs Organization IT Conference and Exhibition in Dubai.

What’s at risk?

FTZs provide significant opportunities for legitimate business and play a critical role in global trade. However, the by-product of their proliferation brings increased vulnerability for abuses by criminal actors who take advantage of relaxed oversight, softened Customs controls and lack of transparency. Free Trade Zone management, in some instances, fails to enforce intellectual property rights (IPRs), therby enabling laundering, distribution of counterfeit goods and consumer purchases of potentially unsafe products.

Key recommendations

Drawing on international agreements, lessons learned from effective national legislation, the experience of IP rights holders, and international best practices, this report includes a set of policy and legislative recommendations on how to preserve and expand the benefits of FTZs for legitimate traders. At the same time they serve to protect the public and honest business from predatory practice.