Free trade zones in Turkey: what are the advantages?

What is a Free Trade Zone?

Free trade zones are special sites that, although located within the political borders of a country, are legally considered to be outside of its customs area. Goods that enter the borders of a free trade zone in a given country are outside of this country’s customs borders and are not subject to its financial and economic regulations.

Briefly put, free trade zones are designed to offer a business climate that makes commercial and industrial activities easier to conduct than in other parts of the country.

FTZs in Turkey

There currently are 20 FTZs in Turkey (19 of which are operational). These are situated close to the EU and Middle Eastern markets, major Turkish ports on along the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas and the offer easy access to major international trade routes.

Please click here for an interactive map with links to each Turkish FTZ’s website (you will need to select “FZs” on the “Key Locations/Sites & Facilities” menu on the right hand side of the map).


Advantages & incentives offerd by FTZs in Turkey
Monetary advantages
  • Exemption from corporate income tax: Manufacturing companies are 100% exempt from corporate tax over their profits (the regular corporate tax rate in Turkey is 20%),
  • Free transfer of profits: profits generated at free zone can be transferred to Turkey or to other countries without the need for any permission,
  • Income tax exemption over salaries: Manufacturing companies are 100% exempt from income tax over the salaries of their employees if they sell minimum 85% of their production abroad (the regular income tax rate over salaries in Turkey is between 15% to 35%).
Customs-related exemptions & benefits
  • Since free zones are legally outside the customs borders of Turkey, custom related taxes and regulations are not applicable to goods entering the zones (Value-Added Tax (VAT), customs duties, Resource Utilization Support Fund tax (RUSF, normally 6%),
  • Companies can decrease their costs by keeping their stocks in a tax-free environment and/or basing their re-exports, transit trade, packaging, labeling and other similar operations within free trade zones.
One Stop Service
  • 2nd hand machinery can be imported freely in to FTZs with no age limitation,
  • Free circulation of goods within the EU Market,
  • Lower construction and infrastructure service costs (exempt from VAT),
  • 100% foreign investment is allowed, without any requirement for minimum capital,
  • Bookkeeping and accounting can be done in foreign currency,
  • Sales to domestic market is allowed,
  • Easy to get work permits for expatriate employees,
  • Stocks can be kept in FTZsduty-free for an unlimited period of time.
An example: The European Free Zone

BCCT member European Free Zone Founder and Operator Co. (EFZ) / Avrupa Serbest Bölgesi (ASB) is a Free Trade Zone that includes a multi-sectoral industrial site and finds appropriate solutions for the requirements of all its investors. Established in 1999, it is located in the Çorlu district of Tekirdağ on an area covering 2 million m2 of land (click here for map).

More than 150 companies from all over the world – such as 3M, Foxconn, Polyplex Resisns, Indorama, Bekaert Textile, Flamaerotec and MTU Motor have invested into the European Free Zone, where 4,000 people are currently employed.

In 2015 the trade volume generated in EFZ was 2.5 billion USD, making it 4th among the existing 19 free zones in Turkey.

Lands with ready infrastructure, warehouses, production units, offices and open stock areas are ready for the companies who want to start their activities for benefiting the advantages and incentives at below.

For further information and examples please visit the BCCT website here


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Connecting the Dots in Foreign Markets: Turkey

Turkey is a country that offers opportunities in a wide variety of industries, capabilities and regional business knowledge and experience; this level of diversity has stimulated considerable interest for UK businesses in one of the fastest growing emerging market economies. The headroom for growth supported by strong fundamentals; dynamic demographics, growing middle class, high net wealth, strong and well established private sector, well-regulated and highly developed Banking sector, is considerable and offers major opportunities for British exporters and investors.

Sectors such as Construction, Healthcare, ICT, Energy, Automotive, Finance and Consumer Goods are only a few of the many sectors which offer especially high levels of potential for UK companies. UK companies within these sectors are actively seeking opportunities and cooperation to invest, establish distribution networks and find strategic partners which cover not only Turkey but the region.

The British Chamber of Commerce Turkey is an organization established over a century ago with the aim of supporting British business in Turkey and has been strategic partners with UK Trade & Investment since 2013. For the past 3 years, BCCT has been an active player for making it easier for UK companies to do business in Turkey by welcoming trade delegations and individual companies from UK’s various regions to Turkey and organising major events and activities to support this aim.

BCCT provides British companies with the tools to turn potential into business transactions during their visits to Turkey by preparing tailored market reports, carrying out business partner research projects and setting up meetings and networking events for visiting business people to interact with Turkish counterparts in industries of interest.

One of BCCT’s most successful activities is the organisation of 1−2−1 meetings where UK representatives and trade mission delegates can talk to potential Turkish business partners of interest. This is the one activity that generates the highest number of concrete business deals. Once these parties engage, BCCT stays in touch with both to ensure follow up and ongoing support for companies to successfully complete their market entry.

Welcoming delegations, helping company representatives in a market that is new for them, and making sure their market visit runs smoothly stand out as the core capabilities within BCCT’s service provision.

In 2015, BCCT has welcomed 7 UK trade missions in cooperation with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). Morning briefings, B2B speed meetings, networking receptions, and further customised services were all designed to deliver the best possible potential to lead UK companies and their newly found local partners to successful outcomes.

On average, BCCT interacts with around 42 UK-based companies per month. Last year, it provided more than 500 tailored business services including market research, partner search, market visits, meeting arrangements, PR Support and event management.

The top ten sectors during the last year from which UK clients engaged with BCCT to benefit from its services were engineering, education and training, environmental , renewable and sustainability, chemicals, construction, healthcare and medical ‚legal and financial services, consumer goods, and infrastructure.

During the same period, around a third of BCCT’s UK clients were returning clients who have chosen to continue working with BCCT’s Business Services Team as a result of previous successful and productive interactions.

Are you interested in finding out whether Turkey is a market for you? Do you need answers to questions on how to best reap Turkey’s potential as a foreign market for your goods and services? Maybe you are planning a market visit? Then BCCT is among the first places you should get in touch with.

Source: BCCT  Newsletter, 4 April 2016

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Export control training bulletin

Courses, seminars and workshops to help exporters understand their obligations under export control legislation.

Export control training bulletin, May to December 2016

This bulletin contains details of courses, seminars and workshops from the Export Control Organisation to increase your understanding of the UK’s strategic export controls.

Events are aimed at exporting and trading individuals or companies of all sizes, as well as government organisations and cater for a wide range of knowledge levels.

Includes all details, charges and an application form.

This issue covers new courses from May to December 2016.


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Launch of Eurostat survey on the admin burden of Intrastat

Eurostat (the EU Commission’s statistical directorate) is launching an EU-wide survey
aimed at businesses who submit Intrastat declarations.

If you submit Intrastat declarations, they want to hear how much of a burden, in terms
of your time and money this process is to you and your views of how the collection of
two new additional data elements would impact this:

  • VAT registration number of your EU Customer
  • Country of origin of the goods

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would like as many UK businesses
as possible to take part in the survey to ensure your views are heard, especially if
you are a Small or Medium Enterprise (SME). This is your chance to get your views
heard by EU decision-makers.

The Intrastat admin burden survey has been published today and will remain open
until 20th March 2016. Help for participants is available on the Eurostat website.

HMRC will also be contacting selected businesses to ask them to complete the
survey but you do not need to wait for that call in order to take part. If you receive
a call from us, please consider taking part.

The call is genuine; the caller will give you their name and you will not be asked
to provide any details about your business other than those required for the survey.

If you require any more information please contact Mark Ellis of HMRC Customs
Trade Statistics Policy Team.

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Exports and the role of UKTI examined by Committee

Source: – 29 January 2016

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee holds the first evidence session of its inquiry into Exports and the role of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).


Tuesday 2 February 2016, Room 6, Palace of Westminster

At 9.30am

  • Professor Richard Kneller, Professor of Economics, Nottingham University
  • Professor Holger Breinlich, Professor of International Economics, Nottingham University
  • David Smith, Economics Editor, Sunday Times

At 10.30am

  • Tim Ambler, Senior Fellow, Adam Smith Institute
  • Jon Coleman, Chair, British Exporters Association
  • Graham Cole, Former Chairman of AgustaWestland and Chair of the Cole Commission on Exports

Purpose of session

In this session, the Committee hears from academics, commentators, and senior business figures, including the Adam Smith Institute and the British Exporters Association. The session is likely to look at whether the Government’s export targets are achievable, the Government’s planned reforms to UKTI, and the availability of export finance for SMEs.

The session is open to the public on a first come, first served basis. There is no system for the prior reservation of seats in Committee Rooms. It is advisable to allow about 20 minutes to pass through security checks. Committee Rooms and timings are subject to change.

Further information

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Export control training bulletin

Issued from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and Export Control organistaions: Courses, seminars and workshops to help exporters understand their obligations under export control legislation.

The bulletin contains details of courses, seminars and workshops from the Export Control Organisation to increase your understanding of the UK’s strategic export controls.

Events are aimed at exporting and trading individuals or companies of all sizes, as well as government organisations and cater for a wide range of knowledge levels.

Includes all details, charges and an application form.

This issue covers new courses from January to June 2016. Remaining unfilled events from November and December 2015 are also included.



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Cross-government approach at heart of new drive to boost exports

UKTI to be at the centre of a new approach to boosting British exports, and overseeing and co-ordinating export performance.

A new whole-of-government approach to boosting British exports delivered through a transformed, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), focused on priority markets and sectors, has been announced today (19 January 2016) by Trade Minister Lord Maude.

UKTI will be at the centre of this new approach, overseeing and co-ordinating export performance on behalf of the cross-government Exports Implementation Taskforce, led by Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

o increase the number of exporters, UKTI is focusing on transforming its digital service, using new technology to meet the needs of more businesses and increase cost efficiencies. The 5-year Exporting is GREAT marketing campaign launched in November 2015 to drive up the number of new exporters is one part of this work, and has already generated more than 4,750 applications for export opportunities. In addition, having consulted UK businesses to find out what they need to help boost their exports, UKTIis now developing a single digital platform to help businesses find the export information, support, and advice they need, be it from government or private sector providers.

New Practical and Financial Support for Businesses: UKTI will develop a suite of new practical and direct support products and services, based on best practice and learning from competitor countries’ export promotion agencies. Over the coming months, UKTI will pilot these services and products to ensure they adequately reflect businesses’ needs.

Where export services can be provided by the private sector, with no or little value provided by government’s involvement, the government ultimately intends to exit that market and will focus instead on fostering an invigorated private sector export support marketplace.

UKTI will continue to provide a range of cross-sector support including enhanced support for trade missions and fairs, GREAT marketing and events, and access to on-demand export opportunities.

For the full announcement please click here

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Business Sheffield China Trade Mission – late March 2016

This is part of a series of events we are running to showcase Sheffield in China. Having already received very positive interest in the Mission from some of our best growing companies we have just 5 places left.  If you are interested in the following:

  • Over £3,000 in support towards expenses;
    Help with making contacts prior to travel; pre visit market research and; an overseas market introductory service.
    “In market” activities such as official receptions and briefings; and
    Assistance in the run up to the mission with 100 hours of free support from a University of Sheffield Chinese student.

Please contact for more information.

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Are you finding EU rules are making it difficult to Innovate?

As part of its role in helping UK firms to innovate and grow internationally, the Enterprise Europe Network, working in conjunction with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, would like to support the Commission in this work and help identify EU regulatory barriers companies based in the UK are facing when they are seeking to innovate.

In their effort to help the Commission, it is important that we assist in finding out more about any specific EU regulations which are hindering innovation, what the barrier is and what impact it is having. We therefore would seek your answers to the following questionnaire (details of company and contact names are for our information only and will not be passed to the Commission)

Please click here to have your say

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Export opportunities opened up by UKTI

An IT security awareness provider has hailed the opportunities created by a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) trip as the organisation prepares to take businesses interested in overseas trade on visits to The Hague, Lisbon and Madrid.

The trips are open to small and medium-sized businesses with little or no international trading experience and not already selling to the markets they are visiting and want to target.

As part of UKTI’s First-Time Exporters package of support, the mission to Lisbon and Madrid runs from 18 to 20 January 2016 and that to The Hague for companies wanting to export to Benelux countries is between 16 and 18 February.

One business to benefit from the Export Insight Visit programme is Bob’s Business, an information security awareness training provider with ten staff based at the Digital Media Centre in Barnsley, South Yorkshire that joined a recent Visit to Riga in Latvia focused on cyber security.

Bob’s visited Riga in November 2015 because it wanted to develop a newly-established relationship with a Latvian partner.

Melanie Oldham, managing director of Bob’s Business said: “The visit gave us the opportunity to work with Latvian businesses to enhance our current product range and also to develop a localised version of or product for testing in the local market.”

Other Yorkshire companies to have joined a previous export insight visit to Iberia include giftware provider Pigment Productions and business and consumer services providers Adigi and Saxton Partners, all three of which are based in Harrogate, Bradford mechanical and process engineering firm Chanter Biomed and Aventus Law of Leeds.

Mark Robson, UKTI regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The export insight visits have proved to be a great way for first time exporters to open the door to potentially lucrative markets overseas for their goods and services.”

Source: Business Insider, 8 January 2016

To find out more about the Insight visits or seek support from UKTI please contact or call 0300 365 1000

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