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    Import Customs Regime in Turkey

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    Import Customs Regime in Turkey


    The following article offers you with the most useful information about the Import Customs Regime in Turkey. Importing goods into Turkey is a complicated process, but it can be made much easier by using the right information.

    Overall, in addition to some articles grounded in the Turkish Customs (Code No: 4458), the Import Regime Decree governs the import procedures of Turkey.

    Full text of the Turkish Customs Code (No: 4458) is available online here (in Turkish).

    The Import Regime Decree is available online here (in Turkish).

    What is the meaning of Import Procedure?

    Import procedure is carried out through “a summary declaration”, when the relevant goods are brought into the Customs Territory of Turkey.

    After setting a customs-approved treatment or use to the goods covered by the summary declaration, transactions related to them are completed; within 45 days from the submission date of the summary declaration for the goods arriving by sea, within 20 days from the submission date of the summary declaration for the goods coming through other ways.

    See also regarding the meaning of export procedure, our article on ‘Export Customs Procedures in Turkey’. 

    What about import duties?

    In summary import duties may contain

    firstly, “customs duties” payable on the importation of goods and other duties and charges having an equivalent effect,

    secondly, “duties and other charges” payable on importation that are introduced under the agricultural policy or under specific arrangements applicable to some products obtained by the processing of agricultural products.

    Who is the importer?

    Every legal or natural person might be an importer. Article 8 of the Import Regime Decree stresses that any natural and legal persons enjoying tax numbers in accordance with the Tax Procedural Law can undertake import transactions.

    Foreign trade data appears as the most concrete indicators of the increasing interest of importers and also exporters regarding Turkey. See recent official foreign trade data issued by the Ministry of Trade.

    Also recent foreign trade statistics of the Turkish Statistical Institute confirms this, as seen below:

    What is the meaning of “release for Free Circulation Regime”?

    Under Article 74 of the Turkish Customs Code, “release of the goods into free circulation” is allowed in following circumstances: the implementation of trade policy measures, the fulfillment of other formalities including the payment of legally due taxes.

    Customs debtors should undertake taxation, commercial policy measures and other import duties on time. Otherwise they may face a number of restrictions and penalties imposed by relevant customs administration. The Ministry of Trade also has absolute authority to pose restrictions or prohibitions.

    How are the goods brought to the Customs Territory of Turkey?

    Shortly, there are five steps to accomplish importation procedures:

    1. Taking a legal guidance from a reliable law firm,

    2. Prepare the summary declaration,

    3. Submit the summary declaration to the competent national authority,

    4. Carry out necessary commercial policy measures,

    5. Undertake certain import duties including the payment of import taxes.    


    To sum up the findings of this study has shown that customs import regimes contain several commitments laid down different customs regulations in Turkey. This reality makes it very difficult for customs debtors to understand their relevant duties and rights. Where a legal dispute sparks, the hardest challenging aspect is to find relevant administrative and judicial authorities to make an application.  Therefore the present work asserts that finding comprehensive legal assistance should be the first step for any customs import procedure in Turkey.

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    Pi Legal Consultancy is an international law firm based in Ankara (Turkey) that offers legal consultancy and advocacy. We deliver legal services in key legal areas, among others, employment, international trade, healthcare, real estate, citizenship, corporate governance, banking and finance, energy and mining. Please visit our website for all our work and practice areas.

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