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Free zone users that operate under production license are exempted from the income or corporate taxes until the end of the taxation period of the year Turkey becomes full member of the European Union.

The free zone users that obtained operating license other than production before 06.Feb.2004, the income or corporate tax exemption continues during the validity period of the operating license. The free zone users that obtained operating license other than production after 06.Feb.2004 do not enjoy income or corporate tax exemption.

The validity period of an operating license is maximum 10 years for tenant users, and 20 years for users who wish to build their own working spaces in the zone; If the operating license is for production, these terms are 15 and 30 years for tenant users and investors, respectively.

Currencies used in the zone are convertible foreign currencies dealt by the Central Bank of Turkey.

There is no limitation on the proportion of foreign capital participation in investment within the Free Zones.

There are no procedural restrictions regarding price, standards or quality of goods in the Turkish Free Zones.

Since the trade conducted between Turkey and the free zones is subject to the foreign trade regime, free zone users can purchase goods and services from Turkey without paying value added tax.

In contrast to most Free Zones in the world, sales to the domestic market are allowed.

The goods can remain in the zones without any time limit.

The incentives and advantages provided in the free zones are available to all firms regardless of their origin.

Turkish Free Zones are close to the EU and Middle East Markets, adjacent to the major Turkish Ports on the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Seas and have easy access to international airports and highways.

Infrastructure of the Turkish Free Zones is competitive with international standards. The rents of closed and open areas are lower than other countries.

The goods in free circulation can be sent to Turkey or to the EU countries from the free zones without any customs duty payment. Moreover, no customs duty is applied on the goods of third country origin at the entrance into the free zones and exit to the third countries.

Since free zones are part of the Turkey-EU Customs Territory, the goods in free circulation can be sent to the EU Countries by an A.TR certificate. Customs duties for the goods of third country origin are also not paid at the entry into the free zones. However, the goods of third country origin that are not in free circulation can be sent to the EU countries by an A.TR certificate, only after the customs duties are paid over the rates determined in the Common Customs Tariff.

Operating in a free zone can be more advantageous for the firms, that;

  • require minimum bureaucracy,
  • sell abroad the goods they produce with imported inputs,
  • engage in labor intensive sectors,
  • engage in re-export,
  • prefer to use foreign currency in all transactions (wholesalers, manufacturers),
  • demand modern office and working spaces with good and ready infrastructure.

Head of Department
Undersecretariat of the Prime Ministry for Foreign Trade
Tel: 0312 212 58 90

Last update: March 01, 2006

(Source: Undersecretariat of the Prime Ministry for Foreign Trade Web Site)