Turkey food & drink export guide

Turkey is an ideal food & drink export market - but do you know how to get your products onto the market? Read on to learn more.

Turkey is prime food and drink export territory. Its imports of key foodstuffs come to around $5 billion each year - and the market is getting stronger for exporters.
More and more niche market segments, reliant on international produce, are becoming clearer every day. You can read more about these emerging sectors here.
Fish and seafood, processed fruits and vegetables, snack foods, and more are all major import categories in Turkey right now. However, for exporters, knowing what Turks want is only half the battle – the rest is how to get your products onto the Turkish market.
We’ve put together this handy guide on how to export food and drink items to Turkey, so your products reach Turkey’s potential customer base of nearly 80 million people. Read on to learn more.

Exporting food & drink to Turkey: your useful guide

Trade agreements & customs unions
As it bridges Europe and Asia, Turkey holds various trade agreements with European, Asian, and global organisations. As a result, tariffs, taxes, and import rates are likely to favour Turkey’s partners in the groups outlined below.
Turkey is linked with the EU in a Customs Union agreement, and has been since 1995. This gives the 28 EU nations potential preferential treatment in Turkey.
Turkey is a member of the World Trade Organisation.
It is also a member of the Economic Cooperation Organisation.
Additionally, Turkey enjoys free trade agreements with 18 other nations.
Export.gov, the US’ export advisory body, has assembled a run down on Turkish customs unions and deals. Click on the link below for more information.
Export.gov overview of Turkish custom unions & trade agreements
Import procedures
Due to Turkey’s far-ranging network of trade partners, and its membership of major economic organisations, it is subject to a wide variety of different import/export procedures.
The European Commission Market Access Database outlines the rules, regulations, and procedures focussed on importing goods to Turkey. Click the link below to learn more.
European Commission Market Access database overview of Turkish import procedures
Import tariffs
Thanks to its multiple deals and agreements, many products are allowed to enter Turkey tariff-free. Even so, there are some domestic taxes that exporters should be aware of. For instance, alcohol is subject to Special Consumption Tax (SCT), which can vary wildly between different alcoholic drink types.
Check out the link below for an explanation of Turkey’s import tariffs.
Export.gov overview of Turkish import tariffs
Import requirements/documentation
Prior to December 2011, the majority of goods coming into Turkey required import licenses – especially food and drink items. These requirements have subsequently been dropped, so licenses are now really only required for animal products.
That said, there are still several important documents both importers and foreign exporters will need to ensure their goods make it to market. Click the link below to learn more.
Export.gov overview of Turkish import requirements & documentation
Customs regulations
The Turkish Ministry of Customs and Trade has prepared its own guide to the nation’s customs regulations. Visit the page below to find it.
Ministry of Customs and Trade customs regulation page
Labelling requirements
All packages, cases, and bales entering Turkey must bear shipping marks, numbers, dimensions, and the merchandise’s gross weight.
Although Turkey is not an EU member state, it has fully implemented many of the EU’s standardised marking directives.
However, compared with nations such as Kazakhstan, Turkey’s labelling requirements are straightforward.
Export.gov overview of Turkish labelling requirements
Other helpful resources
While the above should help you navigate Turkey’s import market without any real hassle, the below links will provide you with a fuller picture of what it’s like to do business there.
World Bank’s Doing Business Rankings
Turkish Ministry of Customs and Trade

Download the guide

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Join us at WorldFood Istanbul: Turkey’s leading food & drink event

Now you know how to export, it’s time to meet your new business partners. Do so at WorldFood Istanbul this year.
WorldFood Istanbul connects over 13,000 industry professionals with over 450 domestic and international companies from 29 countries each year. It’s the perfect place for producers to get their products in front of a dedicated audience of industry buyers, including retailers, distributors, HoReCa sector members and much more.