The 2017 trade deal between Britain and Turkey means that many businesses may be considering importing from Turkey for the first time. This could be a sound choice as Turkey already has lots of positives as a trade partner, including direct trade routes and a government keen to encourage trade. It’s also perfectly positioned to link Europe and Asia. However, it’s important to remember that, at present, the UK is still a member of the EU and Turkey is not, which can make the import process more complicated.
Read on to discover six mistakes to avoid when importing from Turkey:
1. Not having the correct certifications
Some of the popular imports from Turkey require a licence or official certification – and failure to obtain these is likely to result in your goods being held at customs. Fruit, for example, is among the country’s top exports and is one of the agricultural products that usually requires a licence. Textiles and live animals are other examples of popular exports from Turkey, which would typically need a licence.
2. Not having the right commodity code
A commodity code is essential for the classification of goods being imported into the UK from outside of the EU – which means you’ll need one if you’re importing from Turkey. You can use the UK Trade Tariff online at gov.uk to find the right one. This 10-digit code is required when filling in customs declarations and other paperwork, and will also give you information on what duty or VAT is payable, and if any duty reliefs are applicable.
3. Not applying for an EORI number
Anyone trading (importing or exporting) between the UK and Turkey needs an EORI number, which is issued by HMRC. This number is used to identify you by customs – it differs from a commodity code as a commodity code is used to identify the type of goods being imported. An EORI number is easy to obtain and can be applied for online at gov.uk. You should receive your number by email within three working days. Try to import from outside of the EU without one and your goods won’t clear customs!
4. Not making the right import declarations
You’ll also be required to make an import declaration to HMRC when importing goods from Turkey to the UK. This is more complicated than simply including the commodity code – although that is part of the requirement. A declaration also needs to include the import value of the goods and a customs procedure code explaining what is being done with the goods on import (for example, free circulation).
The easiest option is to get your freight forwarder to make your import declaration for you. A forwarder with AEO status (Authorised Economic Operator) will also benefit from simplified customs processes that should speed up the import of your goods.
5. Not factoring in VAT and Duty costs
VAT, customs duty and/or excise duty may be payable on goods sent from outside of the EU, so it’s important to factor these into your total costs. It may be that your profit margin isn’t quite as good as you’d hoped and that another import option may work out cheaper overall.
Turkey, despite being outside of the EU has from 1995 enjoyed European Community Preferences on industrial products moving between the EU & Turkey.
By issuing an ATR1 document goods can often enter the UK duty free which is a great benefit when looking to trade with Turkey.
6. Not choosing the safest transportation method
Most goods are imported to the UK from Turkey by road. However, there have been issues in recent times with security & delays caused by congestion a lot of which has been related to the humanitarian crisis across Europe. Trailers in particular, have been targeted by migrants seeking entry to the UK and cargo owners have experienced delays, loss & damage to goods as a result.
Choosing to have your goods transported by sea freight removes this risk. At John Good Logistics we’re keen to offer our customers the safest option – even on smaller ‘less than container load’ shipments. At present, we’re the only UK freight forwarder offering a direct LCL service from Turkey to the UK by sea.
If you need advice on any aspect of importing or exporting, John Good Logistics has over 180 years of experience to draw on. Feel free to contact our agents to discuss your requirements.