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On 1 January 1996, Turkey began to abolish tariffs on industrial products and adopted the Community`s common tariff for trade with third countries. Some of the exemptions in the decision were eventually abolished and, for processed agricultural products, tariffs on the industrial part of the global protection were abolished. In addition, due to the obligations arising from Association Council Decision 1/95, Turkey`s foreign trade system is largely aligned with the EU customs code. In this context, the EU`s achievements in the areas of technical law, intellectual and industrial property rights, competition policy and EU legislation on the free movement of goods and the common trade policy is taken into account and expressed in our external trade system. Studies carried out within the framework of the customs union`s commitments can be summed up as follows: whether they conclude a customs union or a free trade agreement, there is therefore a trade-off between the administrative cost of operating rules for origin control under a free trade agreement and the economic and political costs incurred if inappropriate tariffs are imposed and cannot conclude international trade agreements with third countries. EU tariffs managed by the European Commission are implemented by the national customs authorities of all Member States – 28 countries in total before Brexit. EU customs officials provide logistics for a huge amount of goods imported into the EU. These imports account for about 16% of all world imports and weigh more than 2 billion tonnes per year. In 2015, this volume of goods required the processing of more than 270 million returns. Although all EU Member States are part of the customs union, not all their respective territories participate. The territories of Member States that have remained outside the EU (overseas territories of the European Union) generally do not participate in the customs union. [11] During the transitional period of Brexit, which runs until 31 December 2020, the UK remains in the customs union. The agreement between the EC (as at the time) and Turkey, under which the EU-Turkey customs union operates, is established by a 1995 ec-Turkey Association Council decision.

Its provisions are extremely one-sided, as indicated by its final article of interpretation: under Decision 1/95 of the Association Council, the customs union not only includes the abolition of tariffs and all other measures of equivalent effect and the adoption of the Community`s common tariff, but also provides for the abolition of all competition distortion mechanisms which result in an unfair advantage over the other party. In line with this approach, Turkey is obliged to align its legislation with the EU`s achievements in the areas of competition, intellectual property and the common trade policy, as well as the free movement of goods. This somewhat comical example shows how detailed the system of interpreting the common rules of the EU customs union must be. Turkey also cannot negotiate its own free trade agreements with non-member countries. This would be contrary to the obligation to align their tariffs with the common tariff. This manual remains the product of consultants and none of its contents can be attributed directly or indirectly to EFTA, EFTA states or the Republic of Lebanon or their institutions. The manual is intended to assist producers, exporters and importers, but they can and should receive additional advice from the relevant customs authorities if in doubt. It is the customs authorities that can make decisions in individual cases. The EU Customs Code (UCC), which aims to modernise customs procedures, came into force on 1 May 2016. [14] Implementation will take place over a period of time and full implementation is expected by December 31, 2020 at the latest. [15] The European Commission has stated that the objectives of the UCC are simplicity, service and speed.