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All you need to know about importing into Turkey in 2023

Turkey is a significant trading partner for many countries around the world. It has a large, diverse economy and is becoming increasingly attractive to foreign investors, who are drawn by its potential to acquire high-value goods and services at competitive prices. 

It’s no surprise that more businesses are looking into importing into Turkey – but what do you need to know before diving into the importation process?

In October 2022, Turkey imported goods worth $27.5B and exported goods worth $19.5B, leading to a trade deficit of $7.99B; a 27.3% increase in imported goods’ expenditure and a 1.26% drop in revenue from exports, between October 2021 and October 2022.

The statistics reveal an increasing demand for imports, which makes importing into Turkey an exciting opportunity. This article discusses the best products to import into Turkey, the requirements for importing and the process of importing.

What does Turkey import and Export?

Turkey’s leading imports in October 2022 were mineral oils, fuels, and products ($8.6B), Nuclear machinery, boilers, reactors and mechanical ($2.99B), precious gems, jewellery, and metals ($2.75B), Electrical equipment, machinery, and parts ($1.85B), and iron and steel ($1.81B).

On the other hand, the leading exports in October 2022 were vehicles (2.24B), Nuclear machinery, boilers, reactors and mechanical ($1.84B), iron and steel ($1.21B), Mineral oils, fuels, and products ($1.15B), Electrical equipment, machinery, and parts ($1.07B). 

What are the best products to import into Turkey in 2023?

Based on October 2022’s report from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), some of the top imports for Turkey include machinery and equipment, chemicals, transport vehicles/parts/accessories, mineral fuels/oils/waxes, plastics and rubber materials. 

These items are essential components of many industries such as automotive manufacturing and energy production which are important drivers of economic growth. 

Additionally, consumer electronics such as mobile phones and tablets have also been popular imports into Turkey over recent years. These items will likely remain popular in 2023 as well given their continued relevance and rising demand in Turkey.

What are the requirements for importing into Turkey?

To import into Turkey, you must register with the Turkish Ministry of Customs and Trade. You must also obtain an Import License from the same ministry to be able to legally transport goods across borders. 

Additionally, all imported products must comply with Turkish customs regulations and a Certificate of Conformity is required for certain types of items. A valid Commercial Invoice should accompany all shipments, detailing information about the product being imported as well as its origin country. 

Also, certain products must comply with the Conformity Compliance (CE Mark) requirements to be sold and used in the country. This certification is a safety standard that indicates that the product has been tested for compliance with applicable EU standards related to health, safety, and environmental protection. 

The CE mark also serves as proof that the product meets certain quality requirements and can therefore be legally placed on the market or put into service within Turkey. Failure to meet these requirements may result in fines or even the seizure of goods by customs authorities.

Finally, depending on the type of item being imported additional documents such as a Certificate of Origin or Phytosanitary Certificate may be needed for clearance through customs.

In a nutshell, here is a list of documentation that you may need when importing into Turkey:

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Conformity compliance
  • Health certificate
  • Packing List
  • Bill of Lading/Airway Bill 
  • Insurance Policy 
  • Turkish Customs Declaration Form 
  • ATR form for goods with preferential origin status 
  • Special documents, if applicable (e.g., sanitary certificates and permits, etc.)

How to import into Turkey [the process]

With our guidance, you can make sure that your import process goes as smoothly as possible. From customs clearance to product labelling requirements, here is a walkthrough every step of the way. 

1. Identify the regulations and taxes. 

Before importing into Turkey, you need to be aware of the regulations and taxes that apply in this country. As with most countries, there are import duties levied on goods entering Turkey – these are calculated based on the value of the product, its classification under Turkish customs codes and any applicable free trade agreements.

2. Obtain a Certificate of Origin or Harmonized System Code (HS Code) associated with the product(s) being imported

You must obtain a Certificate of Origin from the exporting country to import goods into Turkey. This certificate is needed for customs clearance and should be submitted along with other documents such as an invoice, packing list and bill of lading.

3. Register with Turkish Customs

You must register with Turkish Customs before you can begin importing goods into Turkey. The registration process requires providing details about your business including contact information, bank account details and the type of activity that will take place in Turkey (import or export).

Also, you must follow customs procedures for importing into Turkey carefully if goods are going to make it through without delay or disruption at ports of entry and exit points such as airports or seaports. 

4. Apply for Import Licenses

Depending on the type of product to import, you may need to apply for certain licenses or permits from relevant government authorities to legally import it into Turkey. This includes food products, chemicals or pharmaceuticals which require special authorization before entering Turkey’s borders. 

5. Pay Import Duties & Taxes

You are required to pay duties and taxes when importing goods into Turkey according to the rate applicable for each item being imported based on its classification under the Harmonized System (HS) code system used by all countries around the world for international trade purposes.

To ensure compliance with these requirements, it is recommended that you use a professional service provider such as IOR who can assist you throughout the process. Once you have understood the regulations and taxes associated with importing into Turkey, it’s time to consider payment terms for your purchase orders (PO). 

6. Payment terms for your purchase order

Payment terms vary depending on the supplier but typically involve either cash-in-advance payments or open account payments where invoices are settled within 30 days from the delivery date.

It’s important to discuss payment terms upfront as some suppliers may not accept open account payments until after several successful shipments have been completed between both parties.

7. Documentation and paperwork

Depending on the type of product to import (e.g., food items) you may need specific documentation before shipment which needs to include detailed information about each item to ship (including weight/quantity/description etc.). 

Additionally, all packages should be clearly labelled ‘For Importation into Turkey Only’ so customs officials know exactly what kind of product is arriving in their country!

8. Clearance by Customs

If all necessary documents have been submitted, Turkish customs will review and approve/decline clearance for the shipment based on its compliance with applicable laws and regulations within Turkey’s borders. 

9. Delivery & Release

Once all necessary paperwork has been completed, payment made, and cargo cleared by Turkish customs authorities, you can contact a reliable freight forwarder who specializes in delivering shipments from abroad so they can arrange for collection /delivery at a port or other designated point within Turkey.

Note: A reputable IOR can take care of your shipment from transportation to compliance with all requirements and payment of duties and fees. And if you are importing IT equipment, the IOR can also help with the installation.

Do you need a license to import into Turkey?

Yes, you need a license to import into Turkey. The Turkish government requires that all imports into the country be licensed with an Import Certificate issued by the Ministry of Economy.

Additionally, certain products may require additional licenses or certification before they can be imported legally. Licensing is the basis of such requirements as no permits are needed unless these specific products come into play.

It’s also important to remember that all imports must comply with local safety standards – failure to do so could result in fines or even criminal proceedings against your business. 

How about tariff quotas and suspensions?

Tariff quotas and suspensions are an important part of the import process for Turkey. Tariff quotas refer to a limited amount of goods that can be imported into the country at a reduced or zero rate of duty. 

Suspensions, on the other hand, allow certain items to be temporarily exempt from customs duties and other taxes. 

Both tariff quotas and suspensions are subject to regular review by Turkish authorities to ensure their continued relevance and effectiveness in supporting economic development objectives. In addition, they may also be used as negotiating tools when entering into trade agreements with foreign countries.

Hence, before importing into Turkey, it’s important to establish whether any tariff quotas or suspensions are effective for your budgeting.

You can also explore more customs regulations including restricted and prohibited imports and Turkey’s customs office contact details at Turkey’s customs official website.

Do you need IOR when importing into Turkey?

Yes, you need a third-party IOR when importing into Turkey. The IOR must be registered with the Turkish Customs Authorities and have an office in Turkey.

A third-party IOR (Importer of Record) is needed when importing into Turkey because certain regulations must be adhered to complete the import process. 

These include obtaining a license from the Ministry of Economy, registering with the Turkish Customs Authority, providing detailed information on all imported goods, and ensuring compliance with international trade agreements.

 A third-party IOR can help by taking responsibility for these tasks as well as completing related paperwork and filing customs documents.

Can Blackthorne act as IOR when importing into Turkey?

Yes, BlackthorneIT can help with importing into Turkey. Our team of experienced professionals has the necessary knowledge and expertise to assist our clients in navigating the complex regulations related to international trade in Turkey. 

We provide a comprehensive range of services including advising on customs procedures and documentation requirements, preparing documents for shipment, arranging transport, and handling all other aspects of import/export operations.


Importing into Turkey can be a complex process. It is important to understand the various regulations and requirements that are in place when trading with this country. With careful research and planning, it should be possible to successfully import goods into Turkey without any issues. 

Additionally, working with an experienced IOR such as BlackthorneIT or a freight forwarder will help ensure that all the necessary paperwork is completed accurately and on time.

How can we help you?

Discover our range of fully compliant solutions of for expert help, please get in touch with us at Blackthorne.