What is Customs Duty? On Which Products Are Customs Tax Taken?

One of the details that should not be ignored in all kinds of trade is tax. Especially in international trade, this issue is a little more sensitive. Because each country has its own tax procedure. Consumers shop accordingly. It is also possible to encounter taxes in e-commerce, which facilitates purchasing products from abroad. The item to be faced is the customs tax. This item, which is among the e-commerce taxes, is shaped according to many different details.

What is Customs Duty?

Customs duty; arises from activities between trading countries. It concerns both the importer and the exporter. This tax is collected by the country where the product or service is introduced. It is not to sell products abroad that pay taxes but to buy them. Therefore, it must be paid for by people who buy products from abroad. Customs tax law exists in almost all countries. In Turkey, it is regulated under Customs Law No. 4458.

What is the Customs Tax Types?

The plural concept of “customs duties” is used in the import process. The reason for this is that there is more than one tax applied on imports. Taxation, which is applied under the name of customs duty, is only one of the items. The types of customs duty that may arise in the case of import are as follows:

  • Customs duty
  • Additional Customs Duty
  • Value-added tax
  • Special Consumption Tax
  • Tax Against Dumping – Compensatory Tax
  • Single and Fixed Tax
  • Compensatory Tax Against Subsidy
  • Resource Utilization Support Fund
  • Tobacco Fund
  • Mass Housing Fund
  • Environmental Contribution
  • TRT Banderole Fee
  • Additional Financial liability
  • Additional Funding

There are some tax items on exports as well as on imports. In addition, it is necessary to have information about the customs taxes applicable in the exporting countries. Particular attention should be paid to such details in the e-export process. The transactions that can be exempted should be followed up.

What are the Benefits and Losses of Customs Duty?

Customs tax can be both beneficial and harmful in terms of its characteristics. The results of this application depend on how it is applied. As long as taxation is applied in a balanced way, it provides significant benefits. Faulty practices can have harmful consequences for the country’s economy. These tax practices determine the limits for domestic consumers to purchase products from abroad.

One of the benefits of customs duties is the potential to protect the country’s industry. Bringing a product produced in the country cheaper than abroad affects the domestic industry negatively. Domestic industrial companies, whose sales in the domestic market have decreased, have to downsize. This increases layoffs, that is, unemployment. These negative situations that may harm the domestic market can be prevented by the taxes applied in the customs process.

Of course, one of the most important benefits of taxation is that it is a source of income for the country. The taxes collected provide financial support to the budget. The existence of customs taxes also provides benefits in keeping products and services coming from abroad under control. The tax rate can be kept low for products that are beneficial to enter the country, and high for those that are harmful.

The harms of the application begin to emerge as the industrialists become lazy. The fact that taxes are too high is an overprotective approach for the domestic industry. This protectionism causes domestic companies to become lazy in production and development. Companies that can open up to the world with the removal of protection cannot compete with developed markets.

If a country increases its tax rate on goods coming from a country that it has specifically chosen, retaliation may come from the other side. The increase in the customs duties of the other country may disrupt the commercial relations between the countries. In addition, high customs duties can increase illicit trade and smuggling.

What is Customs Tax Rates?

Customs tax rates in Turkey vary according to the region of the sending country. In the same way, there may be differences in the ratios in line with the details such as the sales price and the product group. In line with the presidential decision published in the Official Gazette on March 15, 2022, the customs tax rates effective from May 1, 2022, are as follows:

  • 18% of products come directly from European Union countries
  • 30% on products from the USA, China, and other countries
  • An additional 20% to these rates for the products included in the list no. IV within the scope of the SCT Law No. 4760.

What is Customs Duty Limit? What Is Its Purpose?

The above customs duties apply to individual, not commercial purchases. For this reason, a certain customs tax limit has been drawn on the amount. Accordingly, the above rates are; It is valid for non-commercial products, which are delivered to real persons by fast cargo or mail, with a sales price not exceeding 150 euros, and medicines not exceeding 1500 euros. In addition, the tax rate for books and printed publications for personal use is specified as 0%.

Who Can Benefit From Customs Duty Exemption?

The first group to which customs duty exemption is applied is government institutions. An exemption is applied for the goods brought into circulation by the Ministry of National Defense, the General Staff, the Undersecretariat of the National Intelligence Organization, the Ministry of Commerce, and similar state bodies, along with the goods brought for the President. No tax is collected for personal belongings put into circulation by real persons.

Institutions that bring products from abroad for samples, tests, and similar purposes also benefit from the exemption. The goods within the scope of the dowry of people who have moved to Turkey after getting married are not taxed as they are not of a commercial nature. Many details like these are specified in the Customs Law. In addition, it may be possible to refund customs duty within the scope of foreign trade incentives for some commercial enterprises and some product groups.

In Which Countries Are Customs Tax Applied?

Customs duties are applied for products imported into Turkey, regardless of the sending country. However, the tax items and rates to be applied vary according to the sending country. For example, there were countries that previously did not have additional customs duties. Additional taxes were not applied for many countries such as EFTA member countries, Palestine, Morocco, Macedonia, Israel, Georgia, and South Korea, together with the European Union countries. After the decision that will take effect on May 1, 2022, additional taxation will be made for certain products.

Which products are subject to customs duty?

Books and printed publications are among the duty-free products. These products are not included in taxation if purchased for non-commercial purposes. In addition, this also applies to products that fall outside the limits specified in the law. Apart from these, those not included in the exemption are the products for which customs duty is collected. Products with high customs duty are those on the list IV of the SCT Law. Because these products have additional applications. Some of these products are as follows:

  • Perfume
  • suntan cream
  • Hair spray
  • Caviar
  • Air conditioning
  • Refrigerator, freezer, and cooler
  • Shaving Machine
  • Phone
  • Gun

Which E-commerce Marketplaces Have Customs Duty?

Those on the seller side should pay attention to customs clearance and taxation processes in e-commerce. The detail that the buyers should pay attention to is the e-commerce customs tax applicable to products purchased abroad. In most of the market places actively serving in Turkey, the sale of products from abroad is allowed. These products contain phrases such as “from abroad” and the like. There is a possibility of customs duties when shopping from marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and AliExpress. You can also buy products from abroad through local market places such as Hepsiburada. Customs duty is applied to every product that meets the taxation conditions.

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