Customs from Turkey and imports
Although Turkey is not part of the European Union, it has been part of the EU customs union since 1995, which means that in most cases importers do not have to pay customs duties. This can be clearly seen on the ISZTAR (Information System of the Integrated Customs Tariff) portal. When we find the product category we are interested in (e.g. through the text search option or through the nomenclature tree), we click on its HS code and move it to the product page.
Customs duty rate applicable in the Customs Union: 0%
The matter is more complicated for certain agricultural products or coal or steel products, because Turkey’s agreement with the Union does not cover them. In such a situation, it is worth making sure that the goods ordered by us do not require customs duty. Below are two examples of products that are not included in the agreement between Turkey and the Union: rye seeds and fresh lemons.
To sum up, in most cases, imports from Turkey are treated as intra-Community acquisition of goods and do not require additional customs duties, but in the case of agricultural products and coal and steel products, it is worth being vigilant.
Import from Turkey – documents needed
To import from Turkey and go through customs, we need an invoice and a package list, and sometimes also a certificate of origin or other documents such as a certificate of conformity.
When importing from Turkey, we must also have appropriate documents confirming the preferential status of the goods. Without them, we may be forced to pay customs duties according to the rates for (products from) third countries. Most agricultural products and all coal or steel products require an EUR1 certificate, EUR-MED or an invoice declaration.
To import all other products we need a movement certificate.
Import from Turkey – VAT
It should be remembered that even if we do not have to pay customs duty due to the common customs union, we are still obliged to pay VAT. It can be 8% or 23%, but we can usually assume that we are subject to a rate of 23%.
Imports from Turkey may be a lucrative undertaking, especially due to turkey’s weakened currency and Turkey’s membership of the EU’s customs union. Each interested importer must know in advance how much duty is from Turkey. We must also be careful to ensure that all formalities are taken care of so that we are not forced to pay customs duties at the rates for third countries.
Import from Turkey step by step
Although most products imported from Turkey are subject to zero customs duties, the import procedure is similar that of other non-EU countries:
1. Setting up a business.
2. Requesting an EORI number.
3. Registration in the Waste Database.
4. Order product samples
5. Certificate verification.
7. Transport of goods from Turkey.
8 Customs clearance and release for free circulation.
Import from Turkey – legal regulations and safety
The EU Customs Union, which entered into force on 31 December 1995, defines the complete abolition of import and export duties on industrial goods and processed food between the EU and Turkey.
However, it does not regulate imports of unprocessed food, products covered by the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, services or public procurement.
In the light of the regulations, duty-free imports from Turkey include both fully Turkish products and products manufactured using materials from third countries or originating in third countries, but released for free circulation in Turkey.
As manufacturers of articles manufactured outside the European Union most often do not have their representative office in the EU, the importer is obliged to ensure that the product is safe and complies with the standards. The authenticity of the CE certificate is particularly important. If it’s required for the product we’re importing, it’s a good good thing to verify. In addition, it is always recommended to verify the company at the first large order.
Necessary documents for import from Turkey
A very important document for import from Turkey is the ATR movement certificate. It confirms the preferential origin of the goods and is necessary for the cargo to be exempt from customs duties. However, the ATR certificate does not exempt from customs declaration and customs clearance. Therefore, you will also need classic import documents, such as:
1. Commercial invoice or pro forma invoice issued by the seller.
2. Consignment note on which the cargo is based.
3. Packing list mandatory when the invoice does not meet the function of specification.
In addition to the above-mentioned documents, other certificates and attestations may be needed in individual cases, for example:
CE declaration of conformity – primarily for electronic and electrical equipment, medical devices, toys, machines;
Certificate of origin – for example for textiles, agricultural products;
Certificate specifying the raw material composition of the goods – if it is necessary to determine the tariff category.
Transport of goods from Turkey
The location of Turkey allows the use of various forms of transport – the final decision will be determined by the time and cost of transport. The most affordable option is sea freight. From Turkish ports, such as m.in Port of Haydarpasa or Port of Mersin, there are numerous connections to both the port of Gdynia and German ports. Sea transport from Turkey to Polish will take between 2 and 3 weeks.
Rail transport saves time while maintaining a competitive price. For the time being, only connections to Germany are available, which requires additional road transport to Polish. Transporting goods by rail from Turkey takes about a week.
When it comes to air transport, this is the most expensive, but also the fastest option. It is recommended for the transport of small and valuable cargo. LOT Cargo offers a connection between Istanbul and Warsaw.