Turkey - Selling and buying
Reaching the consumers
The still relatively low importance of mass marketing had not needed, until now, the setting up of specific legislation on the development of hypermarkets. The Turkish government submitted in 2005 to the Great National Assembly a bill still under discussion making it necessary to have an authorization to open a hypermarket. Another aspect of the law (which risks being challenged) will prohibit the opening of hypermarkets on Sundays and public holidays.
In spite of these changes, the distribution system remains very complex, with many intermediaries. Retail sales of staple goods (food, personal hygiene, cleaning) remain concentrated essentially in about 170 000 small family structures. The surface areas of more than 100 m2 are only responsible for 20% of total sales.
The great importance of small retail establishments can be explained by the sheer size of the country and the difficult access to certain areas, a limited number of vehicles on the road, and the application of a system of credit-confidence with the local shopkeeper.
Market access procedures
- Member of the Euromed (Barcelona Process)
- Customs Union with the European Union (1996)
- Member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC, 1997)
Multilateral and bilateral agreements with many countries. You can consult the list of the Free Trade Agreements signed by Turkey on the website of the Ministry of Economy.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce must give its agreement for the importing of all electric and automobile products.
The importing of pharmaceutical products and some cosmetic products is subject to the register of the Ministry of Health . In addition, the importing of some foodstuffs must be accompanied by a certificate of analysis. All agricultural imports require health control certificates, which are issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
Importers of alcohol must obtain a certificate of import compliance issued by the TAPDK.
Under a regulation published in the Turkish Official Gazette of December 31, 2007 (No. 26743-supplementary issue) importers are required to obtain a control certificate from the Ministry of Environment for materials considered detrimental to the environment (notably hard coal, lignite, petrocoke, petroleum, arsenic, mercury, lead sulfides and carbonates, fluorocarbons, other chemicals and scrap metals.)
The importing of precious metal and stones is carried out only by banks with the authorization of the Central Bank ( Merkez Bankasi , decree No. 93/4143, March 21,1993) and an only be done by members of the Istanbul Gold Exchange.
Cigarettes can only be imported by TEKEL and cigarette producers, which are permitted by the government under a special decree (such as Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, British Tobacco, etc.).
Medical X-ray films can only be imported into Turkey by the Red Crescent Association.
The country is starting to set up the Integrated Tariff of the European Union (TARIC) in third countries and in order to do this, it is lowering its Customs duties from 10% to about 5% especially with the United States.
Organizing goods transport
The road network in Turkey comprises 60,000 km of roads (more than 80% asphalted), including 1,530 km of motorways. According to estimates of the Turkish Ministry of Transport, 76% of goods transport is carried out by road. Over the last ten years, the government has launched vast investment programs in order to improve the road network.
Rail transport only represents 5.5% of domestic freight transport. The Turkish rail network has 10,508 km of track, including 8,607 km of main lines and 1,901 km of secondary lines. Only 2,065 km of the lines are electrified, i.e. 19.6% of the total. The main lines are Ankara-Istanbul, Istanbul-Kapikule (Greece) and Divrigi-Iskenderun.