Why Turkish Free Zones are ideal for storing commodities

Published: September 28, 2020, Last Updated: January 31, 2022

Turkish Free Zones are areas (typically warehouses) that lie within the Turkish borders however are not included in the customs territory. In general, free zones are areas where the country’s legal and administrative regulations in the commercial, financial, and economic fields are not applied or are only partially implemented, where larger incentives for industrial and commercial activities are recognized, and which are physically separated from the rest of the country.

There are currently 20 free trade zones in Turkey out of which 19 are completely operational. All of these zones are situated close to European and Middle Eastern markets. Moreover, all of them integrate major Turkish ports and offer easy access to international trade routes.

Within a short time span of just 15 years, Turkey has climbed from number 18 to number 13 in global GDP ranking. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with an average annual GDP growth rate of 5.5%. Turkey is a preferred spot of large multinationals such as Toyota, Ford and Nestle for setting up manufacturing facilities and export products. As such, Turkey as a country is a large consumer of, and a premium market for, almost all commodities.

Duties and tax exemptions include:

  • 100% exemption from customs and other duties of the same type.
  • 100% exemption from VAT and excise tax.
  • 100% exemption from stamp duty on documents to be issued.
  • Goods can be kept in free zones without time limitation.
  • Ready-made infrastructure exempt from VAT and other taxes.

More advantages of Turkish Free-Zones:

Low Costs

One of the major advantages of storing commodities in Turkey is that it is a low-cost country. Renting storage space is cheap, approximately 5 times cheaper in comparison to Hamburg or Rotterdam. Furthermore, fees for using the infrastructure needed in getting the goods to the warehouse, such as port fees, are the cheapest among benchmarked countries within the category. Prices for handling containers may reach as much as USD 293 per container in ports such as Marseille (September 2020). In comparison, even the most expensive port in Turkey, which is the Mersin Port, has a fee that is lower than half of the one in Marseille.

Excellent Infrastructure

Turkeys’ infrastructure is one of the most developed in the wider region. Its’ telecommunication services undergo rapid modernisation and expansion every year. Furthermore, modern and well equipped seaports, airports, railway stations and a large network of roads and highways that adds up to around 237,000 miles allows for a simple and efficient transport of your goods.

Free Trade Agreements

Turkey has a Customs Union Agreement with the European Union and additional FTAs with 27 non-EU countries.

Strategic Geographic Location

Turkey is a natural bridge between both the East-West and the North-South. Furthermore, the significant geographical location of Turkey provides connection to strategically important areas and major energy resources. It offers easy access to 1.5 billion people and a combined market worth of USD 24 trillion GDP in Europe, MENA, and Central Asia within a 4-hour flight radius.

Secure & Accessible

The various highly professional Turkish Security Forces are in control and maintain a secure environment. Additionally, high quality professional services,  as well as a developed and functioning arbitration system, make Turkey a  safe intermediate ground for commodity transactions. The hospitality, beauty, and air-travel connectivity (Turkish Airlines connects 255 destinations in 122 countries) are an additional comfort of doing business in Turkey.