Import Regime


Question: Who can import?
Answer: As stated in Article 8 of the Import Regime Decree, any natural and legal persons that are issued tax numbers in accordance with the Tax Procedural Law and the people partnerships who are granted the authority to make legal savings pursuant to the current provisions can undertake import transactions.

Question: What’s the ‘Release for Free Circulation Regime’?
Answer: Release of the goods arriving the Customs Territory of Turkey into free circulation is possible through the implementation of trade policy measures, fulfilment of other formalities laid down for the importation of goods and the charging of the legally due taxes.

Question: What’s the import procedure in general?
Answer: Except for the goods carried by vehicles passing through the inland waters or airspace of the Customs Territory of Turkey without stopping, a summary declaration is submitted for the goods brought into the Customs Territory of Turkey. Summary declaration is submitted before the goods arrive the Customs Territory of Turkey.
Goods arriving the Customs Territory of Turkey are presented to the customs by the bearer person or, in different circumstances, by the person who assumes responsibility for the carriage following the arrival of the goods. The person presenting the goods to the customs shall associate these goods to the summary declaration or customs declaration that are submitted previously.
Goods that are presented to the customs administrations are assigned a customs-approved treatment or use.

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.
Goods have the status of temporarily stored goods until they are made subject to customs-approved treatment or use following their submission to the customs, and are identified in this context. Temporarily stored goods can just be stored in the places approved by the customs authorities through complying with the conditions determined by these authorities.
Assignment of a customs-approved treatment or use to goods refer to one of these transactions, such as subjection to a customs regime, entry into a free zone, re-exportation outside the Customs Territory of Turkey, destruction, or abandonment to the customs.

Goods that are intended to be made subject to a customs regime shall be declared to the competent customs authorities in accordance with this regime. Customs declaration can be made in written form, through computer data processing technique, orally or by any other act that expresses the willingness of the owner of these goods to make subject them to a customs regime.
In normal procedure, written statement is made by a customs declaration. Declaration of release for free circulation refers to the declaration presented by the person who is intended to conduct the import of the commercial goods. That said, the declaration is required to be made through computer data processing technique.

Customs duties born from the importation of goods shall be notified to the declarant via the declaration of release for free circulation, and the permit and conformity certificates that are required in accordance with other foreign trade legislation in the context of the due commercial policy measures need to be added to the declaration of release for free circulation.

Question: How can the due taxes on the goods to be imported learned?
Answer: First of all, in order to start the procedures for the goods that would be imported (i.e. to learn the due taxes or the documents that would be submitted to the customs administrations), customs tariff statistics position of the issued goods, which are classified in the annually enacted Turkish Customs Tariff Schedule, has to be known.
The taxes on the imported goods that are stated below do not exist in any legislation all together.
Customs duty: Customs duty is determined by the Import Regime, which is published by the Ministry of Economy in the Turkish Official Gazette on the 31st of December and enters into force on the 1st of January of the subsequent year. The following lists of the Import Regime cover the related goods that are stated below:

List No. I; agricultural products.
List No. II; industrial products.
List No. III; processed agricultural products.
List No. IV; fish and other fisheries.
List No. V; some industrial raw materials or intermediate goods (some chemicals, micro-electronics, etc.) that are not produced in the EU, within the scope of the Suspension List which is in effect in the EU.
List No. VI: From the goods that are located in this list, only to the items identified in the column of items name, customs duty is applied as 0% provided that they would be utilized in civil aircraft, and in this case the provisions of the customs legislation for the eventual use are applied.
Value Added Tax: The goods that are covered;
In the List No.1 are applied 1%,
In the List No. 2 are applied 8% of VAT.
Goods that are not included in these lists are generally subject to 18% of VAT.
Excise Tax: The excise tax that would paid during the import process is determined by the additional lists of the Excise Tax Law, which are mentioned below.
List No. I covers fuels and oils,
List No. II covers vehicles,
List No. III covers alcoholic drinks and tobacco products,
List No. IV covers electronic goods, cosmetics and various products.

Resource Utilization Support Fund: 6% of the funds is derived from the import with acceptance credit, deferred letter of credit, and cash on delivery.

Since none of the taxes levied on imports is determined by the Ministry of Customs and Trade, the questions about customs duty, housing development fund, anti-dumping tax, subsidies and additional financial liability have to be directed towards the Ministry of Economy; the questions about VAT and Excise Tax have to directed towards the Turkish Revenue Administration; the questions about the cuts of literary and artistic works have to be directed towards the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the questions related to the TRT Bandrole have to be directed towards TRT.

Question: How can I learn the legislation of the goods to be imported?
Answer: Legislation of the goods subject to the import process varies according to the features of these items. Having said that, as a general framework, it is possible reach general information related to import of the goods from the legislation website of the Ministry of Economy.

Question: What are the documents that are required to be submitted to the customs authorities in relation to the goods that would be imported? Are the goods to be imported subject to any kind of quotas or restrictions?
Answer: In order to have a knowledge over the documents that are needed to be submitted to the customs administration during the import of goods, the customs tariff statistics position of the issued goods has to be learned as in the phase of learning the due taxes. Before embarking on the import process, it is necessary to make an investigation over the required standards and different restrictions put on the entry of the imported goods to the Customs Territory of Turkey such as prohibition, permits, quotas, specialized customs applications, and over whether the goods-related documents such as inspection certificate, control certificate, health certificate, analysis report, and CE certificate shall be demanded by the customs administration, and, if any, to make a preliminary preparation in this regard. These information can be accessed from the web page of the Ministry of Economy (www.ekonomi.gov.tr) and / or of the respective Institutions.

Question: "Can all the goods be imported freely?"
Answer: All goods except the ones whose import is prohibited or subject to the permission, can be imported to Turkey.
The authority of determination for the goods whose importation is prohibited primarily belongs to the Ministry of Economy. In this respect, import of specific wastes, chemicals and scraps are prohibited regarding the protection of the environment.
On the other hand, import of certain goods which are not directly subject to the import prohibition can be imported with permission on account of the protection of the humans, animals and environmental health.

Furthermore, certain goods can only be imported by certain institutions.
The permissions from the related Institutions and the procedure of import regime are regulated by “Import Communiqué” and “Product Safety and Inspection Communiqués” which are under jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economy.

The information of “Product Safety and Quality Control System on Import” and “Import Communiqué” can be find from the links below:
http://www.economy.gov.tr/portal/faces/oracle/webcenter/portalapp/pages/content/htmlViewer.jspx?contentId=UCM%23dDocName%3AEK-172703&parentPage=urun
http://www.economy.gov.tr/portal/faces/oracle/webcenter/portalapp/pages/content/htmlViewer.jspx?contentId=UCM%23dDocName%3AEK-172679&parentPage=mevzuat

Question: Can used goods be imported?
Answer: According to Article 7 of the Decree of Turkish Import Regime, import of the old, used, renovated, faulty goods requires the permission of the Ministry of Economy.
'According to Second Section of First Part of Import Communiqué numbered 2016/1, imports of the goods whose CIF value not specified or having more CIF value on the appendix 1 of the Communiqué does not to require the permission of the Ministry of Economy.

Question: What is grey market? Is it allowed?
A Grey Market is the trade of a commodity through distribution channels which are legal but are unofficial, unauthorised, or unintended by the original manufacturer.
Grey Market is allowed only if the good is original. In the case that the goods are not genuine, the process of the Article 57 of Customs Law is implemented.

Question: How can the statistical information related to the import be accessed?
Answer: Foreign trade data is shared with the Turkish Statistical Institute by Ministry of Customs and Trade. Information about the statiscal data on foreign trade can be found from the links below:
http://www.turkstat.gov.tr/PreTablo.do?alt_id=1046

Question: How is the implementation of Guarantee Certificate on importation?
Answer: Published on Official Gazette dated 18 June 2014 and numbered 29034, Communication on Abolition of Communication on Products Which Can Only Be Imported With a Guarantee Certificate entered into force on 28 May 2014. Within the context of aforementioned Communiqué, the approval of Ministry of Customs and Trade on the importation of goods subject to Guarantee Certificate listed in the Communiqué numbered 2014/6 is terminated.
Detailed information about new implementation is accessible on our web page of the General Directorate of Consumer Protection and Market Surveillance.

Question: How is the implementation of suspension of Customs Duty?
Answer: European Union, aimed at decreasing industrialists’ manufacturing costs within the framework of Suspension Regime, suspends the customs taxes of certain intermediate products and non-produced raw material and collects taxes the rates of which are below the ‘’Common Customs Tariff’’ for importation of goods from third countries. Lists about those goods are represented to our national legislation with adding of the list numbered V to Import Regime Decision.
Even though goods taking place on this list are classified on the same tariffs with goods taking place on the added list (numbered II) to Regime Decision, goods of the list numbered V are different from that of the list numbered II in respect of intended purpose of utilization and additional technical features.
Purpose of utilization and features of goods taking place on the list numbered V are defined broadly. If goods take place on both lists numbered II and V, lower customs tax rate is implemented.

Question: How is the proceeding in case of not getting required permission for importation?
Answer: In accordance with 181st article of Customs Regulation, during inspection process or post clearance controls, declarant is directed to authorized institutions to ensure that the goods undergo essential controls if the goods were declared as though they were not subject to controls of related institutions.
In case of adverse control results or uncontrolled goods as if they were controlled (in consequence of directing and informing to relevant institution), the penalty would be applied in accordance with the 235th article of Customs Law. That is to say, goods are passed into public’s property and two times of the bonded value of the goods is going to be due.

Question: What is the Returning to Country of Origin ?
Answer: Redelivery to the exporter means returning goods to country of origin. Proceedings of returning goods to country of origin are carried out in the framework of Customs General Communications (serial no 2-3-4).
Demands about returning to country of origin should be done to competent Customs Administrations.

Question: What is brief information regarding vehicle importation?
Answer:
Old/used vehicle importation: According to Article 7 of the Decree of Turkish Import Regime, import of the old, used, renovated, faulty goods requires the permission of the Ministry of Economy.
The permission should be taken for used vehicle importation as well. Questions and applications about this matter should be directed to Ministry of Economy.


Taxes about vehicles: First of all, in order to start the procedures for the goods that would be imported (i.e. to learn the due taxes or the documents that would be submitted to the customs administrations), customs tariff statistics position of the issued goods, which are classified in the annually enacted Turkish Customs Tariff Schedule, has to be known.
Passenger vehicles take place on 87.03 Tariff Position and commercial (Merchant) vehicles are on 87.04. Lower expansions should be known for determining taxes.
The questions about VAT and Excise Tax have to be directed towards the Turkish Revenue Administration;

Importation controls: Regarding vehicle importation, Letter of Conformity regulated in regard to controls of Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology or the institution authorized by the Ministry has to be submitted to the competent customs authority during registration of customs declaration.

Question: How is the importation of used construction vehicle?
Answer: Importation of used construction vehicle is subject to the permission of Ministry of Economy as all kinds of used vehicle.
However, According to First Section to the Second Part of Import Communiqué numbered 2015/1, import of the goods on the appendicies of the Communiqué does not to require the permission of the Ministry of Economy.

Question: How to import goods through post?
Answer: All post bags and parcels taken to Custom territory of Turkey are dispatched to postal authorities under supervision of the customs administration and are subject to the customs control.
Goods, taken to the Customs Territory of Turkey through post or cargo transportation and do not exceed 75 euro are defined as “noncommercial” and are granted exemption. Passengers are free to bring items not exceeding 430 Euros in total real value, the limitation of which is not valid for goods brought through post or cargo transportation.
While dispatching goods do not exceed 1500 euro, fixed tax is applied depend upon where it is exported from:
For goods from EU: %18
For goods from other countries: %20
Shipping cost is not included in taxing of goods taken by postal service or cargo transportation.
For more information follow the link below;
http://ggm.gtb.gov.tr/sikca-sorulan-sorular/bireysel/posta-ve-hizli-kargo-muafiyetleri

Question: What is the procedure for animal product and plant import?
Agricultural products to be imported are supervised by Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock from human health and security, animal and plant existence and health aspect. Within this scope some of the animals and animal products are subject to veterinary inspections at the border checkpoints.
In accordance with Communication of Product Safety and Inspection (No: 2016/5) Certificate of Conformity, which has to be submitted to the customs along with customs declaration, is arranged for products in Appendices by Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.
Animals are taken to Turkey as a part of a competition or exhibition, gifted to administrative chief or military personnel, to be exhibited in zoos, granted to our state, to be used in scientific researches in universities and research institutions are not subject to inspection certificate, provided that Certificate of Conformity to these goods is issued by Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.

Question: What is the implementation for Import of Scrap and waste products?
Scraps subject to permission and prohibition are covered by Communication of Product Safety and Inspection (No: 2016/23) whereas waste products are covered by Communication of Product Safety and Inspection (No: 2016/3).

Question: What is the implementation for Import of precious metal, gems and valuable items?
Precious metal, gems and valuable items are defined in the Article 2 of Protection of Value of Turkish Currency Law and transactions for release for free circulation of these items are enacted by direction of this law.
Precious metal, gems and valuable items are permitted to be imported to Turkey under the rules of foreign trade regime. However, to import standard and out of standard raw precious metals, customs declaration is a must. Standard raw metal can be imported just by Central Bank and members of Borsa Istanbul. If the importer is a member of Borsa Istanbul, the importer is responsible for delivering the precious metals to Istanbul Borsa within 3 workdays. At the same time they are obliged to submit expertise report which proves value of the precious metal.
To import raw diamond, it is a must to get a Kimberly Process Certificate which is formed by exporter country. It must be dispatched in a durable package and the package should not be opened during dispatching. Certificate must include precise information. Diamonds are supervised by Istanbul Borsa and if it is necessary Istanbul Borsa may request a report on carat and value of diamond.
According to 7. Article of 32 Numbered Decision passengers can bring their own under 15.000 USD precious metals to Turkey without commercial aim. If it exceeds, it requires custom announcements or must be bought in Turkey.

Question: What are the procedures when a passenger’s belonging is regarded as commercial?
Passengers are permitted to bring along with non-commercial effects, souvenirs or belongings of total value not exceeding 1500 Euro, provided all the relevant taxes are paid.
However, in case a passenger brings along with goods whose value exceed 1500 Euro, these goods, be it household, souvenirs or for personal use, shall be subject to import duties and commercial policy measures before being released into free circulation. In other words, if an item is valued over 1500 Euro, regardless of its commercial or non-commercial status, it must be declared to the customs.
In addition, in following cases a passenger is charged double the amount of the custom duty in effect.
 - If a passenger possess a good that has no souvenir or personal purpose according to the Customs Legislation but, contrary to what he/she initially declared, is later found on his/her luggage, vehicle etc.
   - In case a passenger pretends to be an owner of a good which in fact belongs to someone else.

Question: Is There a Special Procedure in Cell Phone Importation?
Importation of unused mobile phone in commercial quantity into Turkey is permitted in line with the Foreign Trade Regime. For imported mobile phones to be released into free circulation, their tariff status must be determined based on Turkey’s customs tariff schedule and then the import duties and commercial policy measures in force shall apply. However, importation of used, deformed, worn-out, refurbished mobile phones shall be subject to permission of Ministry of Economy.
Importers are also obliged to declare imported mobile phones to Information and Communication Technologies Authority.
Lastly, importation of both dutiable and nondutiable mobile phones into Turkey through post / cargo is forbidden.