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Important Developments in Customs Legislation

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The Ministry of Trade (“Ministry“) amended the Customs Regulation and ratified the decision of the EU-Common Transit Countries (“CTC“) Joint Committee amending the Convention on the Common Transit Procedure (“Convention“) on 30 December 2021. Additionally, new import communiqués were published and the Import Regime Decision and Decision Regarding the Application of Additional Customs Duty on Imports were amended on 31 December 2021.

What do the amendments to the customs legislation entail?

  • Regulation on the Amendment of the Customs Regulation

New development

The Regulation regulates (i) laboratory analysis of the goods prior to the customs procedure, (ii) receipt of the returned goods upon export and (iii) the temporary importation of air vehicle engines. The Regulation is available here (in Turkish).

What’s new?

Pursuant to the amendments, permission to accept goods that arrive by air or sea to the temporary storage sites at the port of origin can be obtained within the framework of the procedures and principles to be determined by the Ministry and in accordance with the data kept by the operator electronically.

In addition, goods that require laboratory analysis in accordance with the Regulation can be analyzed prior to the regime declaration if the customs obligor applies to the relevant customs office. The result of the analysis can be used in the regime declaration provided that the uniformity of the analyzed and declared product can be understood from documents such as the summary declaration, invoice or other administrative or commercial documents. In this case, the goods are not sent for re-analysis in the inspection and control phase of the declaration.

The amendments allow temporarily imported commercial air vehicle engines to be used as replacements for engines and/or spare engines in air vehicles owned by the same airline company and/or its subsidiaries within the period of the temporary importation regime.

Permission regarding the delivery of goods returned upon export can be obtained prior to the evaluation of the use of rights and benefits provided that the necessary guarantee is given as to the value-added tax, special consumption tax and other export-related rights and benefits. The procedures and principles regarding the permission will be determined by the Ministry.

  • Amendments to the Convention on the Common Transit Procedure

New development

As part of the CTC Committee’s decision to amend the Convention on 1 June 2021, the transfer of customs debt recovery has been regulated, the validity period of the guarantee and guarantee waiver certificates has been extended, and implementations with respect to Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom have been distinguished. Amendments to the Convention are available here.

What’s new?

Pursuant to the amendments, a country’s customs authority shall request the transfer of responsibility to start the recovery from the customs authority of the country of departure if it obtains evidence that the events from which the debt arose occurred in its territory within the legal time limit. The customs authority of the country of departure will inform the requesting authority of whether it agrees to satisfy the request within 28 days.

In addition, the validity period of comprehensive guarantee certificates and guarantee waiver certificates has been extended from 2 years to 5 years, which may be extended once for one further period not exceeding 5 years. The customs authority of the guarantee will invalidate the certificate and issue a new one if the certificate is not sufficiently legible due to numerous changes and may be rejected by customs office of departure.

  • Decision on the Amendment of the Import Regime Decision

New development

With the Decision on the Amendment of the Import Regime Decision (“Decision“) (Decision Number: 5052), the additional financial obligation has been regulated for certain goods, and the revision dates for industry goods whose import was suspended and the list of goods subject to reduced customs duty have been updated. The amendments are available here (in Turkish).

In addition, the date of loading upon issuance of a transport document and registration of the customs declaration has been extended to 1 January 2022 and 28 February 2022 respectively in order to subject the goods whose customs duties increased on 1 January 2021 to the customs tax rates applicable prior to the publication of the Decision.

Finally, within the scope of the inward processing regime, dates for exports to the European Union on which the lower of the import duty rate in the import regime and the lowest customs duty rate in the European Union Common Customs Tariff are applied in calculating the compensatory tax have been changed to 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2020.

  • Decision on the Amendment of the Decision Regarding the Application of Additional Customs Duty on Imports

With the Decision on the Amendment of the Decision Regarding the Application of Additional Customs Duty on Imports (Decision Number: 5053), the customs duty rates applied have been changed for a wide variety of products. The amendments are available here (in Turkish).

  • New communiqués published for 2022

New development

The Ministry published new communiqués, which entered into force on 1 January 2022, regulating the procedures and principles regarding the import and product safety of certain products. The communiqués introduce rules and regulations regarding certain products’ compliance with the applicable law; these products include consumer goods, vehicles, chemicals, medical devices and radio equipment. In this respect, the communiqués set out the procedures that importers must follow when importing certain products and regulate the importers’ obligations concerning product safety with regard to human health, safety of life and protection of property, environmental safety and consumer protection.

Pursuant to the communiqués, importers must comply with the rules under the relevant communiqué regulating the specific product imported into Turkey, make the relevant notifications to the customs offices or users, and ensure product safety and the compliance of their products with the applicable law. Failure to comply with the rules and obligations under the communiqués is subject to the administrative and/or criminal sanctions set forth under the relevant regulations.

What’s new?

The communiqués published in the Official Gazette dated 31 December 2021 include the following:

  • Communiqué on the Import of War Weapons, Their Components and Parts (Import: 2022/2). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import of Radioactive Materials and the Devices Using These (Import: 2022/3). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import of Maps and Goods Containing Map Information (Import: 2022/5). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Generalized Systems of Preferences (Import: 2022/6). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import of Land Vehicles (Import: 2022/7). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import of Civil Aircraft (Import: 2022/8). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import of Used or Refurbished Goods (Import: 2022/9). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Approval of Documents on Dual-Use Materials and Technologies (Import: 2022/12). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import of Certain Substances Affecting Occupational Health and Safety (Import: 2022/13). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Permits to be Obtained for Imports by Public Institutions and Organizations (Import: 2022/15). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import of Chemical Substances in the Annex of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Import: 2022/17). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import of Medical Diagnostic Kits (Import: 2022/19).The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import of Goods with Electronic Identity Information (Import: 2022/20). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Electronic Application System in Import Procedures (Import: 2022/21). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import Inspection of Radio Equipment (Product Safety and Inspection: 2022/8). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import Inspection of Certain Products Required to Bear CE Marking (Product Safety and Inspection: 2022/9). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on Import Inspection of Toys (Product Safety and Inspection: 2022/10). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on Import Inspection of Personal Protective Equipment (Product Safety and Inspection: 2022/11). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import Inspection of Consumer Goods (Product Safety and Inspection: 2022/12). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Announcement of New Amounts ​​of Administrative Fines Provided in Law No. 7223 on Product Safety and Technical Requirements (Product Safety and Inspection: 2022/13). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import Inspection of Batteries and Accumulators (Product Safety and Inspection: 2022/15). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import Inspection of Medical Devices (Product Safety and Inspection: 2022/16). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import Inspection of Some Products Subject to Inspection of the Ministry of Health (Product Safety and Inspection: 2022/20). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).
  • Communiqué on the Import Inspection of Vehicle Parts (Product Safety and Inspection: 2022/25). The Communiqué is available here (in Turkish).

Conclusion

Significant amendments have been introduced to the Customs Regulation, Convention on the Common Transit Regime, Import Regime Decision and the Decision Regarding the Application of Additional Customs Duty on Imports. Importers, manufacturers and other stakeholders should closely follow the developments in customs law.