Sezai KAYA, Customs Consultant, Former Customs Investigator


Who can act as a declarant for the export customs procedure?

There is no limitation in this regard. According to Article 4 of the General Export Directive, anyone resident in Türkiye with a tax number (taxpayer) can file a customs declaration.  Accordingly, non-residents including non-resident companies cannot act as a declarant for the export customs procedures. This also means that a local entity (either a company or a branch) is required for export customs procedures.

Requirements for a company to act as a declarant in Türkiye

Requirements for a company to act as a declarant in Türkiye are stated below:

  • Obtaining a tax number according to Article 4 of the Export Regulation
  • Within the framework of the Customs General Communiqué No. 1, it is necessary to register in the “obligatory registration tracking system” of the Turkish Customs Administration.
  • According to Article 4 of the Code No. 5910 on the Establishment and Duties of Exporters’ Associations, exporters must be members of the exporters’ association and pay dues.

Is it compulsory to work with a customs consultant to file an export declaration?

According to Article 5 of the Turkish Customs Code, anyone resident in Türkiye can file a declaration on their own. In other words, it is not obligatory to use a customs broker. However, in practice most of the declarations are filed by customs brokers due to the fact that Turkish customs legislation is highly complex and requires expertise while filing a decleration.  In addition, the penalties applicable in the customs legislation are high and may cost unexpected economic difficulties.

For example, declaring an incorrect HS code has a 3-fold penalty on imports. Another example is that if the export is made without obtaining preliminary permits, there is a penalty of 1/10 of the FOB price. In addition, depending on the situation, there may be a trial within the framework of the Anti-Smuggling Law. For those reason, as mentioned almost all companies work with a customs broker when customs declaring.

Obtaining a local Tax ID for the purpose of carrying out clearance procedures for export.

There are following procedures to obtain a tax number in Türkiye. First, the company must be established. There are two registration processes that must be completed during the establishment phase of the company:

  1. Registering with the Chamber of Commerce
  2. Obtaining a tax number from a Tax Office.

Besides, the company’s “articles of association” must be prepared, and NACE code must be determined, then the company’s “articles of association” must be registered and uploaded in MERSIS (online Central Trade Registry System) and approved by the trade register, and the tax number must be obtained from MERSIS