Free economic zones (FEZ), free economic territories (FETs) or free zones (FZ) are a class of special economic zone (SEZ) designated by the trade and commerce administrations of various countries. The term is used to designate areas in which companies are taxed very lightly or not at all to encourage economic activity. The taxation rules are determined by each country. The World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) has content on the conditions and benefits of free zones. Some special economic zones are called free ports. Sometimes they have historically been endowed with favorable customs regulations such as the free port of Trieste. As Britain was proposing the creation of ten free ports after leaving the European Union in early 2020, the EU was clamping down on 82 free zones after finding that their special status had aided the financing of terrorism, money laundering and organised crime.


According to the 1999 Revised Kyoto Convention, a "'free zone' means 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."


An early type of special economic zone was ''free ports'', these historically were endowed with favorable customs regulations. In modern times ''free port'' has come to mean a specific type of special economic zone, for example LADOL. All "free ports" in the world were permitted by the respective states, save the Free Port of Trieste that with the signing of the 16th Resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations (10 January 1947) and the signing of the Treaty of Peace with Italy (10 February 1947, ratified 15 September 1947) were put territorially under the sovereignty of the United Nations itself. As cited on Annex VIII, Article 3 paragraph 2: ''"The establishment of special zones in the Free Port under the exclusive jurisdiction of any State is incompatible with the status of the Free Territory and of the Free Port"''. For example, it was not possible to apply the "Italian Law on Ports" in the extraterritorial free zones of the UN Free Port of Trieste with the effect that all actual territorial concessions were null and void. In 1954 the Free Territory of Trieste was dissolved and given to its neighbours, Italy and Yugoslavia.

Criminal use

The European Union in 2020 introduced new stricter rules to identify and report suspicious activities at free ports and zones in response to the "high incidence of corruption, tax evasion, and criminal activity", with a further review to take place in the following year, The European Parliament suggested that increasing demand for free ports could be partly a response to global crackdowns on tax evasion. The European Commission in a report said that free ports were popular for the storage of art, precious stones, antiques, gold and wine as alternative assets to cash, and posed an emerging threat in multiple ways: allowing counterfeiters to land consignments and tamper with loads and paperwork, then re-export the products without customs formalities, disguising the actual origin and nature of the goods and their supplier. The commission said they were also used for narcotics trafficking, the illegal ivory trade, people smuggling, VAT fraud, corruption and money laundering. "Legal businesses owned by criminals remain key to money-laundering activities ... Free ports are perceived as facilities that protect their clients' identity and financial dealings, much as private banks used to." As an example the commission cited Swiss authorities' 2016 seizure of cultural relics looted from the Middle East being stored in Geneva's free ports. The free port system has been accused of facilitating international art crime, allowing stolen artworks to remain undetected in storage for decades.

List of free economic zones by country


* Spitalle * Koplik * Vlore


* General Pico Free Zone * Provincia de Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur


* Gyumri


* Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority


* Brest FEZ * FEZ Mogilev * Vitebsk FEZ * Minsk FEZ * Gomel FEZ * Grodno FEZ


* Cobija Free Economic Zone (Zona Franca de Cobija, in Spanish)


* Free Economic Zone of Manaus, in Manaus


* Burgas * Rousse * Plovdiv * Dragoman, Bulgaria * Vidin * Svilengrad


* Iquique * Punta Arenas


* Shenzhen


* Barranquilla * Bogotá * Bucaramanga * Ca1 * Parque Central Zona Franca, Cartagena * Zona Franca Turística en Isla De Barú, Cartagena * Cúcuta * Eje Cafetero * Medellín * Río Negro


*Krapinsko-Zagorska Free Zone *Kukuljanovo Free Zone *Osijek Free Zone *Port of Ploče Free Zone *Port of Pula Free Zone *Port of Rijeka Free Zone *Port of Rijeka – Škrljevo Free Zone *Port of Split Free Zone *Splitsko-dalmatinska Free Zone *Zagreb Free Zone


* Port Said Public Free Zone * Alexandria Public Free Zone * Nasr City Public Free Zone * Suez Public Free Zone * Ismailia Public Free Zone * Damietta Public Free Zone * Media Public Free Zone * Shebin El- Kom Public Free Zone * Qeft Public Free Zone * Port Said East Port Public Free Zone


*Bordeaux, Grand Port de Bordeaux


* Poti, Samegrelo region


* Speicherstadt, Hamburg


* Tema, Free Zone Enclave


* Sricity Multi Product SEZ, Andhra Pradesh * SEEPZ, Mumbai * MARG Swarnabhoomi SEZs for Engineering and Multi Services, Tamil Nadu * Inspira Pharma & Renewable Energy Park, Aurangabad, Maharashtra


* Kish * Aras Free Zone * Anzali Free Zone * Arvand Free Zone * Chabahar Free Zone * Gheshm Free Zone * Maku Free Zone * Imam Khomeini Airport City Free Zone


* Sulaymaniyah Free Zone


* Shannon Free Zone *International Financial Services Centre


* Andria * Campobasso * Crotone * Erice * Gela * Lamezia Terme * Lecce * Massa Carrara * Matera * Mondragone * Naples * Pescara * Rossano * Sora * Taranto * Torre Annunziata * Velletri * Ventimiglia

South Korea

* Korean Free Economic Zones * Busan-Jinhae Free Economic Zone * Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone * Gwangyang Bay Area Free Economic Zone * Incheon Free Economic Zone * Yellow Sea Free Economic Zone * Saemanguem-Gunsan Free Economic Zone * East Coast Free Economic Zone * Chungbuk Free Economic Zone


* Liepāja Special Economic Zone * Rēzekne Special Economic Zone * Rīga Freeport Economic Zone * Ventspils High Technology Park


* Marijampolė Free Economic Zone * Kaunas Free Economic Zone * Klaipėda Free Economic Zone * Panevėžys Free Economic Zone * Akmenė Free Economic Zone * Šiauliai Free Economic Zone * Kėdainiai Free Economic Zone


* Centenary Economic City * LADOL Free Zone * Nigeria International Commerce city

North Macedonia

* Free Economic Zone Skopje 1 * Free Economic Zone Skopje 2 * Free Economic Zone Stip * Free Economic Zone Tetovo


* Port Klang Free Zone


* Entrepreneurship Free Zone Expo-Business-Chişinău * Entrepreneurship Free Zone "Tvardiţa"
Free Economic Zone "Taraclia
* Entrepreneurship Free Zone "Valkaneş" * Entrepreneurship Free Zone "Otaci-Business" * FEZ "Bălți" *
Subzone Straseni CAAN
* FEZ "Ungheni-Business" * FEZ Aeroportul Liber Internaţional Mărculeşti * FEZ International Free Port Giurgiulești


* Tsagaan Nuur Free Economic Zone * Altanbulag Free Trade Zone * Zamyn-Uud Free Economic Zone


* Export Processing Zone of Tangier * Free Zones at Tangier Med Ksar el Majaz Mellousa 1 and 2 * Free Zone in Dakhla and Laayoune * Free Storage Zone of hydrocarbons: Kebdana and Nador * Export Processing Zone in Kenitra


* Svalbard


Sohar Port and Free Zone

Salalah Free Zone

Al-Mazunah Free Zone

Special Economic Zone Duqm


* Gwadar Port Gwadar Port free Zone, part of CPEC Project


Zona Franca de Barú, Barú


* Tacna Free Economic Zone (Zona Franca de Tacna, in Spanish)


* Subic Bay Freeport Zone - first Freeport in the Philippines * Clark Freeport Zone


Qatar has free zones and Special Economic Zones with differing laws on taxation and corporate ownership * Qatar Science & Technology Park * Qatar Financial Centre * Manateq Special Economic Zones ** Ras Abu Fontas ** Umm Al Houl ** Al Karaana


In Russia there are only Special Economic Zones Technical/Innovational Zones * Dubna * Zelenograd (Moscow) * Saint Petersburg * Tomsk * Innopolis Special Economic Zone (city of Innopolis) Industrial/developmental Zones * Alabuga Special Economic Zone * Lipetsk Tourist Zones * Krasnodar Krai * Stavropol Krai * Kaliningrad Oblast (Yantar, Kaliningrad Special Economic Zone) * Altai Krai * Altai Republic * Irkutsk Oblast * Buryatia * Vladivostok


Serbia has 14 free economic zones as of September 2017; these are: * Free Zone Apatin * Free Zone FAS-Kragujevac * Free Zone Kruševac * Free Zone Niš-South * Free Zone Novi Sad * Free Zone Pirot * Free Zone Priboj * Free Zone Smederevo * Free Zone Subotica * Free Zone Svilajnac * Free Zone Šabac * Free Zone Užice * Free Zone Vranje * Free Zone Zrenjanin


* Barcelona * Port of Vigo


* Berbera Free Zone DP World BFZ


*Geneva Freeport


*Port of Kaohsiung *Port of Keelung *Port of Taichung *Port of Taipei


* Sughd Free Economic Zone * Panj Free Economic Zone * Dangara Free Economic Zone * Ishkoshim Free Economic Zone


* See List of free zones of Turkey


* Mary-Baýramaly * Okarem-Hazar * Turkmenabat-Seidi * Bakharden-Serdar * Ashgabat-Annau * Ashgabat-Bezmein * Serakhs * Guneshli * Ashgabat International Airport * Dashoguz Airport


* Autonomous Republic of Crimea * Quarantine Pier of Odessa trade sea port, January 1, 2000, for 25 years * Ukraine and EU Free Trade Agreement

United Arab Emirates

* Abu Dhabi Global Market * Ajman Free Zone * Dubai Academic City * Dubai Airport Free Zone * Dubai Internet City * Dubai Media City * Dubai Multi Commodities Centre * Dubai Knowledge Village * Dubai Healthcare City * Dubai International Financial Center * Dubai Science Park * Dubai Outsource Zone * Dubai Silicon Oasis * Dubai Studio City * International Media and Production Zone * Jebel Ali Free Zone * Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah * SAIF ZONE Sharjah * Fujairah Free Zone * Fujairah Creative City * Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone * Masdar City Free Zone Abu Dhabi

United Kingdom

After Boris Johnson's Conservative government was elected in December 2019, it announced plans to set up ten free ports in the UK by 2021. Prior to 2012 the UK operated 5 free ports, Liverpool, Southampton, Port of Tilbury, Port of Sheerness and Prestwick Airport, before David Cameron's Conservative government allowed legislation allowing free ports to expire. During the 2021 United Kingdom budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak announced that eight new freeports would be created. They are East Midlands Airport , Felixstowe and Harwich , Humber region , Liverpool City Region , Plymouth , Solent , Thames , Teesside.

United States


* Dung Quất * Chu Lai * Nghi Sơn * Vân Đồn * Vân Phong * Phú Quốc


* Aden Free Zone

See also

* Bonded logistics park - another type of SEZ * Free-trade zone - another type of SEZ * Free-trade area * Four Asian Tigers




External links

List of Free Zones in United Arab Emirates
{{DEFAULTSORT:Free Economic Zone *