Free Zones is a part of the territory of a Contracting Party where any goods introduced are generally regarded, insofar as import duties and taxes

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3 Free Zones is a part of the territory of a Contracting Party where any goods introduced are generally regarded, insofar as import duties and taxes are concerned, as being outside the Customs territory" (Kyoto Convention revised, 1999) Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is an area or regime within a country with a special status with respect to customs and/or tax controls, in which enterprises are licensed to conduct business or provide services for export and/or import purposes.

4 There are many titles for these specially designated trade -promotion areas. Bounded warehouses Special Economic Zones Export Processing Zones(EPZ) Free Trade Zones Enterprise Zones Freeports At least 8 categories of FTZs. Foreign Trade Zones Single Factory EPZ

5 TFZs are fenced in duty-free areas offering warehousing, storage and distribution facilities for trade, transshipment and re-exportation of products. These are located in most ports around the world. Colon Free Zone, Panama, and Singapore are good examples.

6 Export Processing Zones (EPZs) are industrial areas, focusing on assembly and manufacturing of intermediate imports, aimed primarily but not exclusively at foreign markets. Particular sectors include laborintensive, light manufacturing, such as garment production and the assembly of electronics. EPZs also promote linkages with the domestic economy by encouraging technology transfer and innovative industrial strategies.

7 Hybrid Export Processing Zones Certain types of EPZs are sometimes called Hybrid Export Processing Zones, because they combine the traditional export focus of an EPZ with a subdivided area, in which non-export oriented activities can take place. Karachi in Pakistan are examples.

8 Single Factory EPZ schemes provide incentives similar to EPZs but are not a zone at all, rather a single factory located anywhere in a country which receives the special duty free privileges of zones. In the United States they are also called sub-zones. Mauritius and Madagascar are examples of where Single Factory EPZs exist.

9 Foreign Trade Zone is specially designated zone in the United States. They are established in or adjacent to a port of entry, in which all types of merchandise may be held without being subject to U.S. Customs duties and other taxes.

10 Enterprise zones are economic development areas intended to revitalize specific urban or rural areas where they are located through tax incentives and financial grants. These are most often found in the developed world. The London Docklands is such an example.

11 Freeports typically the largest of the zones, accommodate all types of activities including tourism, retail sales, and on-site residences, and accompany a broader set of incentives and benefits. Freeports are different from traditional FTZs as they are not seen as export drivers but areas promoting overall economic growth linking the zones with the overall economy of the nation. This has also resulted in greater expansion and liberalization of the core set of policies present in most free zone programs.

12 The European Union allows inward processing relief and other customs schemes that produce some of the benefits of free zones without requiring formal zone definition. In the UK, for example, freeports do not offer significant benefits beyond inbound processing relief schemes. As a consequence, ports like Rotterdam have marketed themselves as freer than a Freeport. Hong Kong, is a freeport.

13 SEZs extend the relaxed tax and administration characteristics of FTZs to investment arrangements, labor laws, management practices, and wage rate policies in specific areas of the country. Originally this structure applied only to China but versions now exist in India and elsewhere. China has proposed applying special treatment within SEZs for the promotion of real estate, tourism, infrastructure development and banking.

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15 There are approximately 3000 FTZs in 135 countries around the world with a total turnover in the billions of U.S. dollars. (Akinci and Crittle, 2008: 7) In recent years, the FTZs have proliferated in East Asia. In Asia, there is Singapore FTZs, and there would be 5 FTZs in Taiwan.

16 According to Chinese authorities, in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, goods can be imported, processed and re-exported without the intervention of customs authorities; hence the free flow of commodities and capital (Xinhua, 2013).

17 FTZs are designated areas within jurisdictions in which incentives are offered to support the development of exports, foreign direct investment (FDI), and local employment. These incentives include exemptions from duty and taxes, simplified administrative procedures, and the duty free importation of raw materials, machinery, parts and equipment, and most importantly the easing of customs procedures. Taking advantage of relaxed vigilance, softened customs controls and the lack of transparency in FTZs, these zones may become increasing vulnerable to a wide range of abuses by criminal elements. Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) FTZ

18 Traders could use transit or transshipment of goods, through multiple, geographically diverse FTZs to disguise the illicit nature of the products. Once introduced into an FTZ, goods may undergo a series of economic operations, including assembly, manufacturing, processing, warehousing, re-packaging, and re-labeling. Once completed, the goods can be imported directly to the national territory of the hosting state or re-exported to another FTZ, where the process is repeated. Lack of control has made the free-trade areas attractive locations for parties engaging in the illicite trade. (The Financial Action Task Force, 2010).

19 Transit and transshipment operations present opportunities in FTZs to mask the illicit origin of goods. This lack of surveillance is all too common in many FTZs. Goods may enter a national customs territory under a variety of customs regimes. That regime status may change, dependant on the goods, from temporary storage to transit, or to customs free zones, or to import for consumption. However, the state may not always be aware of all the safeguards relevant to the activities within its free trade zones, where trade controls may be minimal at best.

20 Laundering begins when fakes are unloaded into FTZs. The goods may be stored for long periods, partly or fully assembled, and then re-labeled but without customs supervision. They are then loaded into new containers for subsequent shipment to the final country for importation or to another port, or FTZs where the process is repeated. The movement, reassembled, storage, re-labeling and reshipping process serves to disguise illegal origins.

21 For the procurer of illicit goods seeking to avoid detection, the FTZs have less stringent export controls applied to goods being transshipped or routed through FTZs than to goods entering their territory through other means. As goods do not officially enter the economy in question, they may be beyond effective customs and police control.

22 Inside the FTZ, illegal activities, countermanding the export control regulations, are subject to national enforcement by the corresponding government authorities.

23 Exempting goods from taxes and duties creates problems. Such exemption strips away the ability of customs to enforce nontariff measures, By limiting the scope of cargo that custom inspects and; By limiting customs incentives to perform its standard inspection procedures, such as raising revenues through duties and taxes.

24 While there are wide differences in national regulatory measures concerning a country s FTZs. Some countries empower customs to control goods and activities in FTZs, others have denied customs jurisdiction over goods in FTZs. (International Chamber of Commerce, 2013:20). Without precise provisions relating to FTZs and no requirement to add the nonobligatory provisions, countries may enact a wide variety of laws affecting the enforcement of the export control regulations.

25 Do states have to be encouraged to empower customs authorities in their day-to-day FTZ operations? Should national customs authorities have unrestricted rights to enter and observe operations, audit the books and records of companies in the FTZs, and to validate the status of goods under a national customs mandate?

26 Should countries review and implement national export control legislation, including a language that makes legislation applicable to all goods in the national territory, in all customs jurisdictions including transit, intransit, and free-zone jurisdictions?

27 Should there be cooperation between national customs authorities and the special authorities within FTZs? If without such cooperation, regulations would be weak, creating loopholes or fostering opportunities for abuse in FTZs?

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