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Trade Profile

In this page: Foreign Trade in Figures | Trade Compliance | Standards

 

Foreign Trade in Figures

Turkey’s economy is open to foreign trade, which represents 60% of GDP (World Bank, 2015).

The automobile and textile industries spearhead the Turkish foreign trade, followed by gold, jewelry, food, steel and equipment industries as well as machinery. The main imported products are vehicles, hydrocarbons, medicine and chemical products. The European Union is by far Turkey’s largest customer, followed by the United States, China, Russia and Iraq.

Despite a steady increase in exports, which have a relatively low added value, Turkey has a growing trade deficit fuelled by its dependency on the import of intermediate goods for production.

The crisis in the Eurozone, which receives one third of Turkish exports and the country’s geographical proximity to conflicts in the Middle East have taken a toll on the Turkish economy. After increasing sharply in 2013, the Turkish deficit decreased in 2014, driven largely by the faster decline in imports than in exports. The deficit fell by 11.7% in 2016 compared to 2015, reaching USD 55.9 billion. Exports fell by 0.8%, whilst imports fell by 4.1%. Currency depreciation has helped boost exports, while the drop in the price of oil has benefited imports.

 
Foreign Trade Indicators 20112012201320142015
Imports of Goods (million USD) 240,842236,545251,661242,177207,199
Exports of Goods (million USD) 134,907152,462151,803157,610143,883
Imports of Services (million USD) 19,57419,42223,01823,05420,819
Exports of Services (million USD) 40,75342,81547,40051,03045,910
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 10.7-0.49.0-0.30.2
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 7.916.3-0.27.4-0.9
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 32.631.532.232.130.8
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 24.026.325.627.928.0
Trade Balance (million USD) -89,160-65,367-79,917-63,597-48,114
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 56.657.857.860.058.8

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) - 2016; World Bank - 2016

 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2016
Germany 9.8%
United Kingdom 8.2%
Iraq 5.4%
Italy 5.3%
United States 4.6%
France 4.2%
United Arab Emirates 3.8%
Spain 3.5%
Iran 3.5%
Netherlands 2.5%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2016
China 12.8%
Germany 10.8%
Russia 7.6%
United States 5.5%
Italy 5.1%
France 3.7%
South Korea 3.2%
India 2.9%
Spain 2.9%
United Kingdom 2.7%

Source: Comtrade, 2015

 

Main Products

142.6 bn USD of products exported in 2016
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 5.9%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 5.8%
Motor vehicles for the transport of goods, incl. chassis with engine and cab 3.2%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 2.7%
Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal (excl. articles > 100 years old) 2.6%
T-shirts, singlets and other vests, knitted or crocheted 2.1%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 2.0%
Bars and rods, of iron or non-alloy steel, not further worked than forged, hot-rolled, hot-drawn or hot-extruded, but incl. those twisted after rolling (excl. in irregularly wound coils) 1.9%
Women's or girls' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, divided skirts, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (excl. knitted or crocheted, wind-jackets and similar articles, slips, petticoats and panties, track suits, ski suits and swimwear) 1.6%
Insulated incl. enamelled or anodised wire, cable incl. coaxial cable and other insulated electric conductors, whether or not fitted with connectors; optical fibre cables, made-up of individually sheathed fibres, whether or not assembled with electric conductors or fitted with connectors 1.2%
198.6 bn USD of products imported in 2016
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 5.0%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 3.7%
Gold, incl. gold plated with platinum, unwrought or not further worked than semi-manufactured or in powder form 3.3%
Parts and accessories for tractors, motor vehicles for the transport of ten or more persons, motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, motor vehicles for the transport of goods and special purpose motor vehicles of heading 8701 to 8705, n.e.s. 2.6%
Ferrous waste and scrap; remelting scrap ingots of iron or steel (excl. slag, scale and other waste from the production of iron or steel; radioactive waste and scrap; fragments of pigs, blocks or other primary forms of pig iron or spiegeleisen) 2.0%
Powered aircraft e.g. helicopters and aeroplanes; spacecraft, incl. satellites, and suborbital and spacecraft launch vehicles 1.9%
Transmission apparatus for radio-telephony, radio-telegraphy, radio-broadcasting or television, whether or not incorporating reception apparatus or sound recording or reproducing apparatus; television cameras; still image video cameras and other video camera recorders; digital cameras 1.7%
Diodes, transistors and similar semiconductor devices; photosensitive semiconductor devices, incl. photovoltaic cells whether or not assembled in modules or made-up into panels (excl. photovotaic generators); light emitting diodes; mounted piezo-electric crystals; parts thereof 1.5%
Coal; briquettes, ovoids and similar solid fuels manufactured from coal 1.3%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 1.3%

Source: Comtrade, 2015

 
 
 

Exchange Rate System

Local Currency
Turkish New Lira (TRY)
Exchange Rate Regime
Exchange control has been abolished in Turkey. Consequently, there is free convertibility of currency, the right to transfer capital and profits. There are no particular regulations concerning currency exchange.
Level of Currency Instability
In spite of the spectacular fall and then stabilization of inflation in single figures since 2004, the risk of an exchange crisis remains high, taking into account the depreciation of the Lira in the context of an increase in the current account deficit.
 
 
Monetary Indicators 20112012201320142015
Turkish New Lira (TRY) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 USD 1.671.801.902.192.72

Source: World Bank - 2016.

 
 

Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2007
Main International Economic Cooperation
- Member of the BSEC (Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation - 1992)
- Member of the Euromed (Barcelona Process)
- Customs Union with the European Union (1996)
- Member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC, 1997)

Turkey is also a signatory to many multilateral and bilateral agreements with many countries. For further information, consult the list of the Free Trade Agreements signed by Turkey on the website of the Ministry of Economy.

Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets
Yes

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Look Up the Other Member Countries And Read the Web Pages of the World Customs Organization Devoted to the ATA Carnet.
Party of the TIR Convention
Yes

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
The UNCTAD Website Allows You to Read the TIR Convention, See the List of Member Countries And to Find Further Information.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
- The single administrative document (SAD);
- The commercial invoice;
- A phytosanitary certificate (for plants);
- A health certificate and a certificate of radioactive non-contamination (for meat);
- Form EUR1 or ATR;
- Certificate of circulation (EX);
- Certificate of free sale for cosmetics;
- Transport documents and packing list.
Free Zones
In Turkey there are 20 free zones, 7 of which are in the region of Marmara. In spite of the reduction of various advantages granted to free zones over time, they still have many advantages (No Customs duties, exemption from the IS, no VAT, lower social security contributions...).
For Further Information
Ministry of Customs and Trade
Ministry of Foreign Trade
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Non Tariff Barriers
Since January 1990, imports have largely been free of restrictions, with some exceptions concerning the protection of law and order, health or national security. Moreover, administrative formalities related to the import of goods have been considerably simplified.

That being said, there are still some regulatory barriers. The Common Commercial Policy has established quotas on the import of textile products from third countries (Multifiber Agreements). The Ministry of Industry and Commerce must give its consent for the import of all electric and automobile products. The import of pharmaceutical products and some cosmetic goods are subject to registry at the Ministry of Health. Furthermore, the import of select foodstuffs must be accompanies by a certificate of analysis. All agricultural imports require health control certificates issued by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock. Alcohol importers must obtain a certificate of compliance issued by the TAPDK. A certificate from the Ministry of Environment must be obtained by importers of materials considered detrimental to the environment (notably hard coal, lignite, petrocoke, petroleum, arsenic, mercury, lead sulfides and carbonates, fluorocarbons, chemicals and scrap metals). The importing of precious metal and stones may only be carried out by banks with the authorisation of the Central Bank and may only be done by members of the Istanbul Gold Exchange. Cigarettes can only be imported by TEKEL and cigarette producers (such as Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, British Tobacco, etc.). Medical X-ray films can only be imported into Turkey by the Red Crescent Association.

Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Wines and spirits; textiles; glass; medicines and cosmetics.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
Country’s commercial policy, as seen by the WTO.
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the EU.
Sanitary and phytosanitary barriers, inventoried by the EU.

Learn more about How to Export to Turkey on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

 

Standards

National Standards Organisations
Turkish Stardards Institution
Integration in the International Standards Network
Member of ISO (International Standard organization)
Member of IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission)
Obligation to Use Standards
Yes
Classification of Standards
TSE is the national certification marking.
CE is the European certification marking.
Assessment of the System of Standardization
The ISO certification is well known to firms and it is appreciated for its guarantee of the quality and safety of products and services.
Online Consultation of Standards
TSE
Certification Organisations
TSE Turkish Standards Institute

 

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Last Updates: June 2017