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What Do the Recent Amendments to the Customs Legislation Entail?

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New Development

On 15 March 2022, the Presidential Decree Amending the Decree on the Implementation of Certain Articles of the Customs Law No. 4458 (“Decree“) was published in the Official Gazette. The Decree introduced notable amendments to the customs duty rates and relevant product groups to be imported via mail, cargo or along with passengers. The amendments will enter into force on 1 May 2022. The Decree is available here (in Turkish).

What’s New?

The main amendments introduced by the Decree are as follows:

  • Duty rates

The limit of value subject to fixed duty for goods that are imported by real persons via mail or cargo has been reduced from EUR 1,500 to EUR 150. Meanwhile, the customs duty rate on goods imported from non-EU countries has increased from 20% to 30%.
In addition, medicines imported by real persons via mail or cargo and are not commercial in quantity and nature, and whose value does not exceed EUR 1,500, are now subject to: (i) 18% customs duty if they are imported from EU countries; and (ii) 30% tax if they are imported from other countries.
The aforementioned rates will also apply to goods that are not in the scope of the personal belongings listed in the Annex 9, whose value does not exceed EUR 1,500 but exceeds the limit on souvenirs that passengers can bring with them and that are not commercial in quantity or nature.
The gross limit of 30 kilograms no longer applies to the personal belongings listed in Annex 9. In addition, personal and diplomatic goods are no longer subject to the aforementioned value limits.

  • Exempted goods

Equipment, software and materials required to be imported by companies and institutions whose capital’s half or more directly belongs to the Defense Industry Presidency are exempted from duty provided that they are imported within the scope of approved projects and contracts or for the needs of the defense industry as approved by the Presidency.

Biological materials sent to Turkey from abroad will be exempted provided that they are sent on behalf of Medical Laboratories and Genetic Diseases Evaluation Centers licensed by the Ministry of Health.

  • Others

The sale of motor vehicles that are in free circulation within the scope of national defense and internal security is exempt from customs duty if 10 years have passed from the registration date of the customs declaration. On the other hand, customs tax must be paid prior to their sale if 10 years have not passed.

Conclusion

Significant amendments were introduced to the rates of the customs duties to be collected within the scope of the Customs Law and related product groups, which will take effect on 1 May 2022. Persons who import goods from abroad should follow the developments regarding applicable tax liabilities and exemptions.