Importation and exportation are the process of exchanging raw materials and processed goods between two countries.

Turkey is never underrated when it comes to importation and exportation, the country though not a member of the European Union (EU) yet ranks as the 7th in the EU top import list and 5th in the export list.

The country is specialized in exporting clothing and textile materials, gold, car parts, metals, steel, vehicle accessories, and agricultural products while she imports raw materials, gold, spare parts of vehicles, and petroleum products from China, Russia, Germany, and Italy. Most of the products imported are converted to final products and later exported to other countries.

As the company engages in much importation and exportation, she also frowns at any form of illegal shipping and has done the necessary in curbing any import and export criminal act. One of the measures taken is the formation of a strong custom agency that is saddled with the responsibility of monitoring all the shipping activities taking place in the designated borders alongside other bodies. The country has also made strong legislation and law firms that look into discharging the right punishment to whosoever violate the country’s shipping conducts.

Therefore, it is essential for manufacturers in Turkey that are about to make shipping to wholesalers in other parts of the world and vice-versa to know the necessary documentation to acquire before proceeding to shipment. In Turkey, the documents needed for importation is similar to that of exportation, therefore anyone who seeks to engage in it must possess the following requirements.

1. Commercial invoice.

The commercial invoice is a document that contains the total description of the shipment, cost per unit, total quantity, mode of delivery, HS code, shipment’s country of origin, mode of payments and receipt. The document is prepared by the exporter as payment receipt for goods sold under sale agreement to the importer, it is submitted in threes with the original included and it is one of the documents presented to the Custom services for clearance of good in importation and exportation.

2. Certificate of Origin.

The certificate of Origin is also prepared by the exporter and submitted to the third party which is usually the Trade and Industry Department and five chambers of commerce for attestation. The document signifies that the country of production of the goods meets up the standards of the importing government. The documents are always prepared in the English language and made in duplicate from which one is submitted to the Custom agency at the point of importation.

3. Bill of lading (B/L).

This is a transport document that serves as contract proof between the person making the shipment and the carrier. The document must follow the transported goods and must be signed by a proper representative from the deliverer, receiver and Carrier. The document is mainly issued out to prevent property theft, and it is of two types: Straight bill of lading and order bill of lading.

4. Pro forma invoices.

Pro forma invoice is a document that is issued by the exporter to the buyer stating the value, quantity, and kinds of goods to be delivered. Unlike a commercial invoice, it is not issued out upon payment but may be used to apply for an import permit. The document contains enough information for the Custom service to determine the duties required of goods from a general evaluation. It may also contain the same price of the goods, the estimated cost for taxes, commissions, and shipment.

5. Health certificate.

The health certificate is an import-export document that is prepared by the government of the exporting country and issued to the government of the importing country. The document usually prepared by the country’s Agricultural department certifies that the agricultural products whether livestock or crops are healthy for human consumption and meet the requirements of the buying country.

6. Special import and export requirements.

This segment deals with different documents that must be collected on importation or exportation of some special goods such as Alcohol, pharmaceutical products, and precious stone and gold.

Control certificate.

Control certificate is a document that is required to be presented by anyone or company shipping drugs, chemical materials, washing agents and pharmaceutical related products into the country. The document is issued by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture of the country importing the goods into Turkey. The certificate will be demanded by the customs services alongside other documents such as the bill of lading, ingredients list, Certificate of Origin, and commercial invoice.

Import license/permit.

An import permit is demanded at the Turkey borders by the customs services on electrical, electronics and automobile parts related goods such as Television, video games, industrial machinery, heaters, gas-fired furnace. The permit is issued by the Ministry of Trade of the country from which the goods are been imported into Turkey.


Any form of Alcohol to be imported into Turkey must be accompanied by a document or certificate from the Tobacco Products and Alcoholic Drinks Market and Regulatory Authority (TAPDK). Meanwhile, every good related to gold, precious stones and metals may only be brought into Turkey by only members of an association that combines groups of precious metal companies, and metal refineries known as the Istanbul Precious Metals Exchange controlled by Istanbul Stock Exchange.

The above licenses and permits are the documents that must be acquired by whosoever are interested in importation and exportation business in Turkey. The documents are to be submitted in the language of the country making the importation and also translated to the Turkish language.

And all importers should note that all imported goods to Turkey are subjected to various testing by the Custom agency in conjunction with the concerned government agencies to evaluate the qualities of the products and ensures it meets the standards of the country. Also, know that the above documents are the major ones required, but not all required.

Therefore, it is advisable to contact our Turkish product finder team to know more about the documentation needed for importation and exportation in Turkey.