Proposal for a Decision on the position to be taken as regards the draft OECD Recommendation on countering illicit trade: Enhancing transparency in free trade zones

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2019) 294
Publication Date 01/07/2019
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Proposal presented on 1 July 2019 by the European Commission establishing the position to be taken on behalf of the Union within the OECD Public Governance Committee and the OECD Council regarding an initiative developed by the OECD's Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade.

Further information:

The draft Recommendation on ‘Countering illicit trade: enhancing transparency in free trade zones’ has been developed by the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade, a subsidiary body of the High Level Risk Forum of the OECD Public Governance Committee, based on six years of analysis and expert consultation which identified key challenges that make Free Trade Zones (FTZs) susceptible to illicit trade.

The main purpose of the draft Recommendation is to enhance transparency in FTZs in order to prevent criminal organisations from taking advantage of them. To this end, the draft Recommendation calls on OECD Members and non-Members: (i) to ensure adequate levels of oversight and control of FTZs; and (ii) to encourage FTZ operators to comply with the ‘Code of conduct for clean free trade zones’, which is set out in the Appendix to the draft Recommendation.


The OECD Council is the decision-making body of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It is made up of one representative per member country, plus a representative of the European Commission. Twenty-three EU Member States are member countries of the OECD and have voting rights in the OECD Council. The Union is not a member of the OECD and is therefore not entitled to vote.

While the European Commission expresses the European Union’s position in the OECD Public Governance Committee and the OECD Council, it is for the Member States of the EU that are member countries of the OECD to use their voting rights to take a position on behalf of the Union, acting jointly.

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