The recently announced new trade deal between Britain and Turkey means there’s never been a better time to consider importing from Turkey, Europe’s sixth largest economy. This rapidly growing economy, direct trade routes, a government keen to encourage trade and a strong geographical position linking Europe and Asia, all mean that Turkey has already positioned itself as a valuable trade partner to the UK, demonstrated by UK imports worth £9 billion during 2016. An increased focus on developing trade opportunities post-Brexit should see this boosted even further. If you’re looking to import goods to the UK from Turkey, here’s what you need to know.

What To Import from Turkey

Gems and precious metals top the list of what the UK imports from Turkey, with £2.3 billion worth imported during 2016. This is followed by £1.5 billion worth of vehicles – Turkey’s automotive companies are among the world’s largest van, bus and truck manufacturers. After that comes knit or crochet clothing, electronic equipment, machinery, clothing (other than knit or crochet), iron or steel products, plastics, fruits and nuts, and paper. If your business has a use for any of the above-listed products, then Turkey is a tried and tested exporter.

Fastest Growing Turkey Exports

Turkey’s fastest growing exports during 2016 included man-made staple fibres (textiles), collector’s items (such as art and antiques), live animals, wood pulp and lead.

Importing Into the UK

Currently, the UK is still a member of the EU, while Turkey is not, so this impacts the way in which the two countries can trade. You’ll need to consider the following to import goods into the UK from Turkey:

Commodity Codes

Commodity codes are used to classify goods for import and export, and you’ll need to match your items to the correct code. This can be done using the Trade Tariff tool at the Welcome to GOV.UK website.

EORI Number

When trading goods outside of the EU, businesses need an EORI number. This can be applied for online at Welcome to GOV.UK and takes up to three working days to arrive by email.

Commercial Invoices

The commercial invoice is an important document that’s used by customs to declare imported goods. You’ll need one for goods imported from Turkey.

Import Declarations

Goods coming from outside the EU must be declared to UK customs. This can be a complicated process, so most businesses use a freight forwarder to do this on their behalf.

VAT & Duty

Goods sent from outside the EU may be subject to VAT and Duty payments on entry to the UK. You may be able to apply for reduced or zero duty for goods coming from Turkey – this is known as ‘preference’.