Turkey has made significant amendments to customs regulations, intended to improve the effectiveness of the authorized customs broker system. Changes also impact the return of goods confiscated on suspicion of smuggling, analysis of goods at border gates and introduce simplified customs procedures for rail and maritime transport.

The Regulation Regarding Amendment of the Regulation on Customs (“Amendment Regulation”) was published in Official Gazette number 29850 on 7 October 2016, entering into effect on the same date, although some provisions enter into effect on 15 August 2017.

Significant changes introduced by the Amendment Regulation include:

  • From 15 August 2017, approved customs operator certificates will be standardized and current categorizations removed.
  • Persons applying for certification as an approved customs operator due to an acquisition, merger or partial spin-off will not be required to have operated for at least two years.
  • Time periods are outlined in detail for accepting goods which were confiscated on suspicion of smuggling, but a judge has ruled should be returned.
  • If analysis is required to determine customs tariff statistics for goods entering Turkey’s customs territory via land border crossings, the analysis will be made by internal customs, rather than at the actual border. The change is intended to reduce waiting lines at the land border gates.
  • A simplified procedure is introduced for rail and maritime transport. Further details will be determined by the Customs and Trade Ministry.
  • The circumstances where the customs authority can extend 24 month temporary import permits have been expanded to include certain air vehicles. Accordingly, additional time can be granted for ambulance, fire extinguishing, agricultural spraying or sanitary disinfection air vehicles, provided they are:
    • Imported for commercial use.
    • Registered outside the Turkish Customs Region, in the name of a person who is also resident outside the Turkish Customs Region.
    • Subject to an agreement executed with public institutions, municipalities and public economic enterprises with entirely public capital.

Please see this link for full text of the Amendment Regulation (only available in Turkish).