Practical Guidance on Free Zones

The Practical Guidance on Free Zones (hereafter “FZ Guidance”) aims at providing practical guidance, based on the findings and analysis of WCO Research Paper No. 47 and WCO Members’ best practice, to help Customs enhance the Customs procedures/control to be globally applied in FZs, while effectively supporting the healthy development and competitiveness of FZs.

The FZ Guidance consists of seven core elements, with practical guidance and associated best practice by WCO Members. The core elements are:

  • Territoriality aspect of FZs;
  • Full Customs involvement in FZs;
  • Customs involvement in the company approval process and “Authorized Economic Operator” (AEO) concept;
  • Reporting to Customs and the use of data and IT systems;
  • Customs audit in FZs;
  • Customs control and surveillance: authority to seize illegal goods in FZs; on-site checks inside FZs; and use of technology for inspections in FZs; and
  • Cooperation.

The material contained in this FZ Guidance will provide Custom administrations with information to assist in the possible development and updating of FZs.