In general all kind of activities can be performed in Turkish Free
Zones such as manufacturing, storing, packing, general trading, banking
and insurance. Investors are free to construct their own premises, while
zones have also available office spaces, workshops, or warehouses on
rental basis with attractive terms. All field of activities open to
Turkish private sector are also open to joint-venture of foreign companies.
INCENTIVES OFFERED IN TURKISH FREE ZONES
- Turkish Free Zones are tax free zones. Income generated through
commercial activities in the Zones are exempted from all kinds of taxes
including income, corporate and value-added tax.
- The validity period of an operating licence 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 licence is for production, these
terms are 15 and 30 years for tenant users and investors, respectively.
- Free Zone earnings and revenues can be transferred to any country,
including Turkey, freely without any prior permission and are not
subject to any kind of taxes, duties and fees.
- There is no limitation on the proportion of foreign capital
participation in investment within the Free Zones.
- In contrast to most Free Zones in the world, sales into the domestic
market are allowed. Trade conducted between Turkish Free Zones and
Turkey is subject to foreign trade regime. (Sales to the domestic market
is subject to a fee of 0.5 % of the transaction value.)
- Currencies used in the zone are convertible foreign currencies dealt
by the Central Bank of Turkey.
- Infrastructure of the Turkish Free Zones is competitive with
- Red tape and bureaucracy have been minimized during application and
operation phases by authorizing only one agency in charge of these
- The geographical location of Turkey provides significant advantages to
the Turkish Free Zones.
- Turkish Free Zones are adjacent to the major Turkish Ports on the
Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Seas and have easy access to
international airports and highways.
- There is no procedural restrictions regarding price, standards or
quality of goods in the Turkish Free Zones.
- For a period of 10 years following the commencement of operations in
the zones, the strikes and lockouts shall not be applicable. However,
any disputes occurring within the context of collective bargaining
during this period shall be resolved by the Supreme Arbitration Council.
- In the Turkish Free Zones, Municipality Law, Passport Law, Foreign
Investment Law, Foreign Investment and Encouragement Law, and all other
articles of laws contrary to the provisions of the Free Zones Law, shall
not be applicable.
HOW TO OPERATE IN FREE ZONES
In order to engage in operations in free zones, an Operating Licence
have to be obtained from Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade Directorate
General of Free Zones.
An application form for Operating Licence can be obtained from
Directorate General of Free Zones, Zone Directorates or Zone Operator,
Founder/Operator Companies and has to be completed and the documents
mentioned below have to be attached to the copy of the said form.
1- Descriptive information about the Applicant and its Free Zone
2- Authorization document and specimen signature of the signatory and
power of attorney and specimen signature of the representative of the firm
3- Turkish Trade Registration Gazette that announces the establishment
of the Applicant Firm showing its current capital composition (For foreign
firms Trade Registration Document ratified by the related Turkish
4- Last three years balance sheets and income statements,
5- The original receipt of application fee deposited to the Central
Bank of Turkey, and its copy,
6- Documents related to the foreign currency brought into Turkey in the
last three years, (If any),
7- Branch Establishment Permit obtained from General Directorate of
Banking and Foreign Exchange for Banks, Off-Shore Banks and Financial
Leasing Institutions and from General Directorate of Insurance for
The above mentioned documents have to be sent to Undersecretariat for
Foreign Trade, Directorate General of Free Zones through Zone Operator or
In order to obtain an Operating Licence, Turkish Trade Registration
Gazette that announces the establishment of the domestic firm or a
certificate indicating the registration of the foreign firm is required in
addition to other related documents. This requires a trade registration
either in the Chamber of Commerce or/and Industry in order to operate in
Within this framework;
a) Real persons or legal entities residing in Turkey holding a trade
registration may engage in free zone activities in their offices they have
constructed or rented by obtaining an Operating Licence from
Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade Directorate General of Free Zones.
b) Turkish residents who intend to establish a firm to operate in a
free zone; must apply to the Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade,
Directorate General of Free Zones together with the draft of their
contract to substitute the document mentioned above in item 3 along with
other documents. If their application is approved, they may go along with
the procedures to establish their firms. When the firm is established, the
application is made by this firm to the Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade
General Directorate of Free Zones along with the Trade Registration
Gazette advertising the establishment of the firm together with the rental
contract to obtain an Operating Licence.
c) Real persons or legal entities residing abroad who hold a trade
registration in their countries, may also apply directly to the
Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade, Directorate General of Free Zones for
an Operating Licence without getting any permission from the
Undersecretariat for Treasury, Directorate General of Foreign Investment
and may operate only in their offices they have rented or constructed
in a free zone within the framework of the Operating Licence they are
d) If a foreign real person residing abroad does not hold a trade
registration in his/her native country intend to operate in a free zone by
establishing a company by themselves or with Turkish resident real persons
or legal entities, or foreign real persons or legal entities residing
abroad who hold a trade registration in their own countries intend to
operate in a free zone by establishing a company with Turkish real persons
or legal entities residing in Turkey; have to obtain a permission from the
Undersecretariat for Treasury, Directorate General of Foreign Investment
and apply to the Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade Directorate General of
Free Zones to operate in Turkish Free Zones and obtain an Operating
Establishment of Firms in Turkey or Free Zones by Real Persons or Legal
Entities Residing Abroad
Real persons and legal entities residing abroad, must apply to the
Undersecretariat for Treasury, Directorate General of Foreign Investment
in order to establish a joint-stock or a limited company, (the companies
to be established with the purpose of carrying out Built-Operate-Transfer
projects must be in the status of joint-stock companies) in compliance
with the Turkish Commercial Code for the purpose of making investments and
carrying out commercial activities in Turkey.
1. For legal entities residing abroad;
a) Certificate of activity,
b) Activity Report for previous year (including balance sheet and field
of Activity for the previous year)
2. For real persons residing abroad;
a) A Copy of the passport,
b) A detailed commercial and industrial background and the verifying
documents. (Certificate of Activity and a copy of passport shall be
certified by either the related Turkish Consulate or in accordance with
the provisions of Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization
for Foreign Public Documents, prepared on the basis of the Hague
Conference on International Private Law. If the copy of the passport is
certified by a Public Notary in Turkey, no other certification is
3. Letter of Intend by real person or legal entity residing abroad
stating that the required capital for the desired field of activity to be
realized in Turkey shall be transferred into the country.
4. An application form.
5. A draft contract of the company to be established.
6. Proforma invoices, prospectuses and catalogues of the machinery,
equipment and material to be imported together with three copies of global
lists in FOB (Currency of the Country of Origin), FOB (US Dollars), CIF (Turkish
Liras) values and Customs Duties and Charges therof.
7. Documents required by the Incentive Legislation if investment is
considered to benefit from the incentive measures.
8. Power of attorney given by shareholders to the person who will be
the contact person in the course of application procedure (power of
attorney should be certified by a public notary or in the manner mentioned
9. Other documents and information considered to be of value.
Furthermore, each real person or legal entity residing abroad must
transfer at least 50.000 US Dollars to establish corporations and become
partners in existing companies or establish branch offices.
Evaluation and Granting of Operating Licences by Directorate General:
If firms which are found appropriate to get an Operating Licence intend
to rent an open area must sign a rental contract with the Zone Operator,
Founder/Operator Company. Firms intending to rent a closed area must sign
a rental contract with one of the users holding Renting Operating Licence
within 30 days of being so notified.
A copy of the rental contract approved by the related Zone Directorate
is sent to General Directorate of Free Zones and Operating Licence can be
Those who are not found eligible for an Operating Licence their
application fee shall be repaid.
Term of the Operating Licence is 10 years for tenant users who intend
to rent a completed office, and 20 years for investor users who intend to
build their own offices.
However, this term is 15 years for tenant users and 30 years for
investor users who are engaged in production activities. If the investor
users engaged in production activities intend to operate in other fields
of activities, then the term of the Operating Licence is 20 years on the
condition that they operate in their same offices. If the investor users
holding an Operating Licence on field of activities other than production
then the term of the Operating Licence is also 20 years. If the requested
Operation License period is in excess of 20 years the period can be
prolonged to 99 years.
Furthermore, the requests for Operating Licences for a longer term, if
found appropriate and approved on the basis of the project then a fee of
100.000 US Dollars for 49 years and 250.000 US Dollars for 99 years must
How to Start Operating in a Free Zone:
Tenant users may start to operate when they receive their Operating
Licences. On the other hand investor users after receiving their Operating
Licence must obtain a "construction licence" to implement their
construction projects. When the construction is completed they must get a
permission to settle in before they start to perform their activities.
However they may perform their free zone activities by renting a closed
area during the construction period.
FREE ZONE LEGISLATION OF TURKEY
The Directorate General of Free Zones was founded in 1983 within the
organization of the Prime Ministry on the basis of Statutory Decree Nr.
151. Later in 1984 it was included into the organization of the State
Planning Organization as the Directorate of Free Zones on the basis of
Statutory Decree Nr. 223 and in 1991 it was included into the organization
of the Undersecretariat of Treasury and Foreign Trade of the Prime
Ministry as the Directorate General of Free Zones on the basis of
Statutory Decree Nr. 438. In 1994, the Directorate General of Free Zones
was included into the organization of the Undersecretariat of Foreign
Trade of the Prime Ministry since the Undersecretariat of Treasury and
Foreign Trade was divided into two on the basis of Statutory Decree Nr.
534. However, this Decree was canceled. Thereafter, as the result of the
reorganization of two Undersecretariats as the Undersecretariat of Foreign
Trade and the Undersecretariat of Treasury, with Law Nr. 4059, in 1994,
the Directorate General of Free Zones began to carry out its activities
within the structure of the Undersecretariat of Foreign trade.
REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
THE PRIME MINISTRY
THE UNDERSECRETARIAT OF FOREIGN TRADE
DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF FREE ZONES
06510 EMEK / ANKARA / TURKEY
TEL: (312) 212 58 87 - 212 89 06 - 212 82 58
FAX: (312) 212 89 06
FREE ZONES LAW
Law Nr. 3218
Approved: June 6, 1985
Issued: June 15, 1985
Objectives and Scope
ARTICLE 1 - This Law encompasses matters related to the
establishment of free zones; the determination of their location and
boundaries; their management; the scope of their activities; their
operation; and the establishment of installations and facilities within
the zone; with the objective of increasing export-oriented investment and
production in Turkey; accelerating the entry of foreign capital and
technology; procuring inputs of the economy in an economic and orderly
fashion; and increasing the utilization of external finance and trade
ARTICLE 2 - The Council of Ministers has the authority to determine
the location and boundaries of the free zones.
The Council of Ministers grants permission for the establishment and
operation of free zones to public institutions and agencies, resident or
non-resident real persons or legal entities.
ARTICLE 3 - In the implementation of this Law:
a) Operator signifies the public institution and agency; the
resident and non-resident real persons or legal entities operating the
b) User signifies the real and legal person bearing an Operating
License and having a specific place of business within the free zone.
c) Foreign exchange refers to all currencies, or all types of
accounts or bills, considered as being convertible by the Central Bank of
the Republic of Turkey.
ARTICLE 4 - Any kind of industrial, commercial and service
activities approved by the Supreme Coordination Council Of Economic
Affairs may be carried out within free zones.
Any authority regarding prices, quality and standards granted to public
institutions and agencies by laws or by other legislation is not valid in
the free zones.
ORGANIZATION OF FREE ZONES
Principles Related to the Organization of the Zone
ARTICLE 5 - Land and facilities needed within the declared free
zones may be acquired pursuant to the provisions of the Expropriation Law.
Domestic or foreign real persons or legal entities may be active within
free zones on the condition that an operating license is granted to them
by the Undersecretariat of the State Planning Organization.(*) All other
permits and licenses regarding the use of land as well as the design,
construction and utilization of buildings and installations within the
free zone are issued and supervised by the regional directorate.
Security services for free zones are provided by the police.
(*) The Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade (UFT) is authorized to grant
Operating Licenses in accordance with Law Nr. 4059.
Exemptions and Incentives
ARTICLE 6 - Free zones are regarded as being outside of the customs
Legislative provisions pertaining to taxes, levies, duties and to customs
and foreign exchange obligations are not applicable in these zones.
During the investment and production stages of their activities, operators
and users may qualify for incentives determined by the Council of
Income and revenues generated in free zones through activities of real
persons and legal entities with full or limited tax liability in Turkey
are exempt from income and corporate taxes, provided that the transfer of
such income and revenues into Turkey is documented pursuant to foreign
The FZ Fund
ARTICLE 7 - In order to establish, develop and maintain free zones,
to support research and training activities, to construct social
facilities, to provide incentives for users and to promote the purchase of
goods from Turkey, a Free Zone Establishment and Development Fund is
established at the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
Fund resources are as follows:
a) Fees paid for operating licenses and permits;
b) Fees paid in advance amounting to 0.5 per cent of the CIF value and the
FOB value, respectively, of goods entering and leaving the zone.
c) Payments specified in the contracts made with real persons and legal
entities managing the free zone.
d) Other income.
Goods destined to a free zone that originate from Turkey and goods
utilized during the investment and construction stages, as well as
instruments, tools and equipment brought into the free zone for repair and
maintenance purposes are exempt from the payments specified in paragraph
(b) of this Article.
Procedures and principles governing Fund collections and disbursements are
specified by regulations. This Fund is administered by the Prime Ministry.
The Fund is audited by the Superior Audit Council of the Prime Ministry.
GOODS AND SERVICES
Goods In Free Zones
ARTICLE 8 - Trade conducted between a free zone and other regions
of Turkey is subject to the foreign trade regime. Upon request, goods
originating from Turkey of less than 500 US dollars value may be exempted
from export procedures. The foreign trade regime is not applicable for
trade conducted between free zones and other countries or other free zones.
Foreign Exchange and Services
ARTICLE 9 - All payments related to free zone activities are made
in the form of foreign exchange. The Council of Ministers may decide that
payments be also made in the form of Turkish Lira.
Shipping and port services in free zones are provided either by the
operator or assigned to public institutions and agencies or to real
persons or legal entities.
LABOR AND SOCIAL SECURITY, REPEALED AND INAPPLICABLE PROVISIONS, AND
Labor and Social Security Provisions
ARTICLE 10 - Foreign managers and qualified personnel may be
employed by firms operating in a free zone. Related principles are
specified by governing statutes. Provisions of the Social Security
Regulations of the Republic of Turkey are applied in free zones.
ARTICLE 11 - The Free Zones Law Nr. 6209 dated December 21, 1953,
is hereby repealed.
ARTICLE 12 - In free zones, all provisions of Municipality Law Nr.
1580 except paragraphs 5, 22, 25, 32 and 47 of Article 15; Passport Law Nr.
5682; Law Nr. 5683 for Foreigners Traveling and Residing in Turkey and Law
Nr. 2007 on Professions and Services Allocated for Turkish Citizens
including its Annexes and Amendments; Foreign Investment and Encouragement
Law No 6224; Law Nr. 2677 on the Implementation of Duties and Services at
the Civilian Airports, Ports and Border Gates; General Accounting Law Nr.
1050; Law On the Office of the Exchequer Nr. 832; provisions of the State
Bidding Law Nr. 2886 and provisions of other laws contrary to this Law are
Free Zone Governing Regulations
ARTICLE 13 - Where the arrangement of matters in this Law are left
to governing regulations, concerning any organization, duties, authority
and/or responsibilities of operators who are active in free zones, or
granting and cancellation of any Operating Licenses provided to such
operators and/or users; concerning the maintenance of their industry and
commercial registers; concerning any payments they make to the Fund;
concerning principles governing conduct of activities in a free zone;
concerning zone entry permits and identity cards; residence permits; and
concerning work principles and other matters pertaining to the operation
of free zones are determined by governing regulations.
INTERIM ARTICLE 1 - For a period of 10 years following the
commencement of operations in free zones, provisions concerning strikes
lockouts and mediation of Law Nr. 2822. dated May 5, 19 are not applicable
in free zones.
Any dispute arising within the context of collective bargaining during
this period is resolved by the Supreme Arbitration Council.
INTERIM ARTICLE 2 - This Law is effective for each free zone upon
the commencement of operations in that free zone.
The date of commencement of operations is the date when the construction
of the perimeter fence, tower and gate are completed and the regional
directorate, police and customs units assume their duties.
Entry into Force
ARTICLE 14 - This Law goes into effect on the date of its
ARTICLE 15 - The provisions of this Law are enforced by the Council
FREE ZONES GOVERNING REGULATION
(Published in the Official Gazette Nr. 21520, dated March 10,1993)
Objectives, Scope, Legal Basis, Abbreviations and Definitions.
ARTICLE 1 - The objective of the present Regulation is to set out
principles pertaining to the establishment, administration and management
of free zones and to the collection of revenues and making of expenditures
for and from the Free Zones Establishment and Development Fund, founded in
accordance with the Article 7 of said Law, together with other matters
related to said Fund.
ARTICLE 2 - In pursuance of the objective mentioned in Article 1.
the present regulation covers:
a) points related to the governing and management of free zones,
b) principles which activities involving the free zones are subject to,
c) granting or annulment of operation licenses and keeping of industrial
and commercial registers,
d) questions of entry into and exit from a free zone and residence in the
e) working principles in a free zone,
f) principles to govern payments to the fund, the collection of revenues
and expenses to be made from the Fund,
Within this context, the Undersecretariat of the Treasury and Foreign
Trade (UFT) may issue circulars/directives with the purpose of ensuring
that provisions of the present Regulation are applied in practice.
(*) The Undersecretariat of Treasury and Foreign Trade was divided into
two as Undersecretariat or Treasury and Undersecretariat or Foreign Trade
according to Law Nr. 4059. The Directorate General of Free Zones carries
out its activities within the body of the Undersecretariat of Foreign
ARTICLE 3 - The present regulation is prepared in accordance with
Law Nr. 3274 on the Organization and Functions of the Undersecretariat of
the Treasury and Foreign Trade and with Articles 7 and 13 of Law Nr. 3218
on Free Zones.
Abbreviations and Definitions
ARTICLE 4 - Following abbreviations and definitions have the
meanings stated here when used in the present regulation:
a) The Ministry: The Ministry to which the Undersecretariat of the
Treasury and Foreign Trade is affiliated.
b) UTFT: The Undersecretariat of the Treasury and Foreign Trade.
c) Directorate General: The Directorate General of Free Zones.
d) Zone Directorate: The Free Zone Directorate.
e) Zone Founder: The organization which provides the infrastructure
in cases when the infrastructure of the Free Zone is provided by a
domestic or foreign private sector company or by the public sector.
f) Operator: The institution or agency which operates the zone in
cases when the Free Zone is operated by a domestic or foreign private
sector company or by the public sector.
g) ZFO - Zone Founder and Operator: The agency which develops and
operates the Free Zone, in cases when the Zone is developed and operated
by the private sector.
h) The Fund: Free Zone Establishment and Development Fund
i) Operating License: The License permitting one to engage in
activities in a Free Zone.
j) Open Space Use Permit: A permit allowing the use of open space
in the Free Zone for a restricted period.
k) Entry Permit: The document giving entry to the Free Zone.
l) Special Entry Permit: The special document giving entry into the
Free Zones temporarily for the purposes of meetings, visits and the like.
m) Zone: The Free Zone the location and borders of which have been
determined by a Decree of the Council of Ministers.
n) User: A real or legal person in possession of an Operating
License having a definite work place in the Free Zone.
o) Tariff: The fees to be paid by real persons or legal entities
operating in the Free Zone for the space and services provided.
p) Foreign Currency: All kinds of accounts. documents and
instruments securing payment in foreign currencies, including cash. dealt
in by the Central Bank of Turkey.
r) The Law: Law Nr. 3218 on Free Zones.
s) Regulation(s): The Free Zone Governing Regulation.
ZONE DIRECTORATES AND THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ZONE
Zone Directorates, Boundaries Of The Zone, Infrastructure And
Superstructure And The Protection Thereof
Principles Concerning the Establishment, Functions, Powers and
Operation of the Zone Directorate.
ARTICLE 5 - Principles governing the establishment, functions,
powers and operation of the Zone Directorate are as specified by the
Council of Ministers Decree Nr. 85/9801, dated August 16. 1985.
Boundaries Of The Zone
ARTICLE 6 - Boundaries of a zone are those specified in the
relevant decree of the Council of Ministers issued for the establishment
of that zone.
Maritime areas in wharves and other places allocated by the Port Authority
and/or Port Management Directorate for ships and other marine vessels
carrying goods into and out of a zone using the docks or by way of lash
and limbo by sea. as well as the route used for the transport of goods
between such places and the zone in either direction, are regarded as part
of the free zone in terms of customs procedures, provided that these areas
are under the supervision of the Customs Authority.
ARTICLE 7 - The construction of infrastructure such as drainage,
sewage and treatment systems. roads and water. power and communication
facilities and the construction of zone boundaries, steel- yards. depots
for smuggled goods. entrance and exit gates and other buildings and
installations may be undertaken by relevant Ministries or be contracted to
the Operator or ZFO.
If a free zone is established within the boundaries of a public port,
airport or other facility, processes and procedures for the provision of
infrastructures must be performed by the Directorate General and all
necessary structures and facilities made available with due regard for any
necessary coordination with and for the consent of all concerned
organizations and institutions.
If a free zone is established and operated by a ZFO within the framework
of an Establishment and Operation Contract concluded with the UTFT, the
ZFO is obliged to complete within the specified period all construction
work on functional units and on all covered areas necessary for conduct of
activities inside the area allocated to the zone, and to provide all
necessary infrastructure and construction necessary to link in-zone and
off-zone infrastructures. The ZFO is also responsible for the promotion of
the Zone within the country and abroad, for the leasing of the workplaces
to entrepreneurs, for the sale of land on request, provided that the zone
is established on private land, and for equipping open areas for sale with
infrastructure until payment for the land is made, for supervising the
construction of user buildings and for the carrying out other procedures
related to the establishment and operation of the zone.
ARTICLE 8 - Treasury property or public land allocated for the
establishment of a zone may be leased by means of a contract, in part or
in whole. by the UTFT to the operator or the ZFO, or to users with
Users who obtain an Operating License from the Directorate General may
launch their investments upon the approval of the Zone Directorate of the
rent contracts they have made with the Operator or ZFO. Users with an
Operating License which specifies that buildings and other facilities are
to be constructed on the leased land and which sets out periods for the
preparation of the projects and for construction work must fulfill their
commitments concerning project design and construction of superstructure
within the specified periods and then apply to the Zone Directorate for an
All approvals and supervisory work during the construction phase are
performed by the Zone Directorate. In zones with a ZFO, the Zone
Directorate may delegate its responsibilities concerning approvals and
supervisory work to the ZFO. The granting of an Occupation Permit marks
the end of the investment phase and the beginning of the operation period.
The project preparation and construction work mentioned in the preceding
paragraphs is to be accomplished within the period specified in the
Operating License Application Form. This period may not be included in the
operational phase specified in the Operating License.
Construction of buildings and other facilities in the Zone for rent or for
transfer to users may be done by the Operator or ZFO or be contracted out.
If it becomes clear to a Zone Directorate that the ZFO or the Operator is
unwilling to undertake such work, these buildings end facilities may be
constructed by other real persons or legal entities or be contracted out
by them, provided that an Operating License is granted. If buildings and
facilities constructed in this fashion are leased out by the Operator or
ZFO, the claims of the Operator or ZFO in return for such services, must
be specified in the lease contract drawn up. The tenant must obtain an
Operating License from the Directorate General prior to the renting of
such buildings and facilities.
Minimum total covered construction area of leased or transferred buildings
and facilities may not be less than 500 m2 unless this is separately
specified for each zone by the Directorate General.
The ZFO and users who own the land and superstructure may sell or transfer
the land and superstructure to other users within the framework of the
provisions of the Contract they conclude with the UTFT
Protection of Buildings and Facilities
ARTICLE 9 - The Zone Directorate is responsible for the protection
of infrastructural and superstructural facilities and the boundaries of
the zone and for ensuring the continuous observation and supervision of
any changes that may take place. The operator or the ZFO and the Zone
Directorate jointly take all necessary measures to ensure that rented
premises and facilities are handed back by the users in a usable condition,
and if necessary, to secure the payment of compensation in an amount
specified by the Zone Directorate to cover the restoration of such
buildings and facilities to their former condition.
Fields of Activity, Operating Licenses, Entry Permits And Service Cards.
Fields Of Activity In The Zone
ARTICLE 10 - All industrial, commercial and service operations
deemed appropriate by the Supreme Planning Board (SPB) may be conducted in
the Free Zone.
Granting Of Operating Licenses
ARTICLE 11 - Real persons or legal entities who intend to engage in
operations in the Free Zone may submit their Operating License Application
Form either directly to the Directorate General or by way of the Zone
Directorate or by registered mail in order to obtain an Operating License.
Where the application is made by post, the mailing date of the application
form is regarded as the date of submission to the Directorate General.
After the Application Form for Operating License is completed and
submitted by one of the above means and the Operating License Application
fee is deposited in the Fund account in the Central Bank of the Republic
of Turkey, the application is considered as filed. If applications as
assessed in the light of the opinions of the Zone Directorate, the
Operator or the ZFO are found suitable for operating in the zone, then
applicants become eligible for an Operating License and obtain their
Operating Licenses from the Directorate General after renting or
purchasing the premises where they are to conduct their business within 30
days of being notified (Purchasing is applicable only in zones where the
property is in private ownership). Failure to complete the procedures for
a lease contract or a purchase within this period results in the loss of
the right to an Operating License.
The Directorate General may, after evaluating the Application Form for
Operating License, reject the application if it is convinced that
conditions are not right.
Operating Licenses are granted for an appropriate period of up to 99 years,
taking into consideration the request of the applicant, the type of
activity to be conducted, the amount or the investment and other issues
relevant for each zone.
The term of the Operating License and the principles for the Operating
License Application fee are determined by the Directorate General.
Users possessing an Operating License for warehouse activities may store
the goods of other users or of real persons or legal entities who are not
users once they obtain the approval of their lease contract by the Zone
Keeping Of Industrial And Commercial Registers
ARTICLE 12 - Any real persons or legal entities granted an
Operating License are registered in the Registration Book at the Registrar
of the Zone Directorate prior to operation. The information in the license
and the profession and commercial activity to be practiced by the person
concerned is entered in this record with accuracy and a commercial or
industrial registration number and a Registration Document that features
this information are issued to him/her. After the person concerned starts
to operate, his annual income and expenditures, results of his balance
sheet and profit and loss accounts and the main details of his operations
are entered in the records. Each person is obliged to report any changes
in his professional and commercial activities to the Zone Directorate and
must have these entered in his registration records. Each person is
obliged to report or submit to the Registrar the information and documents
relating to his annual activities without any need for request, within
four months of the end of each calendar year. With the exception of parts
relating to matters such as patents, licenses and know-how, these records
of real persons or legal entities operating in the Zone may be inspected
at the discretion of the Zone Directorate.
Entry Permits And Service Cards
ARTICLE 13 - Real persons or legal entities holding Operating
Licenses, their representatives, employees and workers and persons
conducting any kind of business or activity may enter the zone provided
that they obtain an Entry Permit from the Zone Directorate. Permission for
short-term entry to the Zone may also be given by a Special Entry Document
issued by the Zone Directorate.
Entry Permits are issued by the Zone Directorate. Each permit features the
title and seal of the Zone Directorate, the date of issue, a photograph of
the bearer, his first name and surname. the address of his workplace and
the term of the permit. Special Entry Permits do not state the name of the
bearer. These documents are issued in different colors and Special Entry
Permits are returned to the officials on exit.
The staff of the Zone Directorate and other public agencies or the persons
employed by the Operator or ZFO are presented with Service Cards issued by
the Zone Directorate, encompassing the same information as contained in
the Entry Permit. Such officials must display these cards in order to
enter and work in a free zone.
Workers hired on a casual basis by an operator, a ZFO and/or users for
construction, maintenance and repair works being carried out during the
establishment and operation phases are issued Special Entry Permits upon
presentation of their identity cards. In this case such special entry
permits issued must correspond to the number of workers. When there is a
change in the number of workers employed, cards in excess of the number of
workers are taken back and canceled, while new cards are issued if the
number of cards falls short of the number of employees.
Annulment Of Operation Licenses
ARTICLE 14 - The Operating License of a user may be canceled if the
existence of any of the following circumstances are confirmed by an
investigation and assessment conducted by the Directorate General:
a) If it is confirmed through a written report of the Zone Directorate
that there has been an act in contravention of the provisions of laws and
regulations or of the circulars, written instructions and directives of
the Directorate General and that the action is to the detriment of the
order in the zone.
b) If it is established that tax evasion has taken place with revenues and
earnings accruing from activities conducted outside the Zone being
declared as income earned in the Zone and/or if false or misleading
documents are presented for this purpose,
c) If it is confirmed by investigation and examination or by checks made
following tip-offs, that conditions and qualifications declared in the
Application Form for Operating License are not fulfilled or have later
been lost or are proven false, or if it is established that changes in the
information declared in the Application Form for Operating License are not
d) Except where the existence of a state of force majeure as stipulated in
Article 41 of the Regulations is verified by a relevant authority. if it
is established through a written report of the Zone Directorate that
construction work is started within 60 days of the date of approval of
construction projects by the Zone Directorate or in the case of rented
premises if the operation is not launched within 6 months.
e) If the Directorate General or the Zone Directorate requests in writing
but is twice denied information or a response within the specified period,
or is supplied with misleading or false information regarding activities
in the zone.
f) If it is established through a written report of the Zone Directorate
that a user or his responsible and authorized representative or employees
have caused damage to the facilities, machinery and equipment in the zone
or to third parties and that this is repeated despite the issue of a
g) If it is demonstrated at least twice by a Commission established by the
Zone Directorate that the user is not conforming to the provisions of his
contract with the Operator or the ZFO, and that he does not cease to
contravene it within 15 days of being notified in writing following a
third observation by the Commission.
The Operating License Application Fee is forfeited as revenue to the Fund
and not reimbursed in cases of cancellation of Operating Licenses.
Any person attempting to continue his activities in the zone despite an
expiry or cancellation of his Operating License is expelled from the zone
by the police or Customs Officers upon the request of the Zone Directorate.
Possessions of such a person located in the zone are subject to
liquidation in accordance with Article 52 of the Regulation.
Cancellation Of Entry Permits Special Entry Permits And Service Cards
ARTICLE 15 - Any person whose Operating License is canceled, or any
employee of such a person. as well as any person in possession of an Entry
Permit or a Service Card who engages in any of the actions specified in
Article 14, as confirmed by a written report of the Zone Directorate, has
his/her Entry Permit or Service Card canceled and the person concerned is
notified of this cancellation. In cases when a Special Entry Permit is
canceled, it is confiscated by the authorities and the person concerned
expelled from the Zone.
Users are obliged to inform the Zone Directorate on the same day when they
dismiss an employee. In such cases, the Entry Permit of the person
concerned is canceled by the Zone Directorate. However, if such a person
finds a new job in the zone, his/her Entry Permit, provided that it has
not expired, is returned after the change has been recorded.
Any person whose Entry Permit or Service Card or Special Entry Permit is
canceled is expelled from the zone by the police and customs officers and
Customs regulations apply to any goods subject to customs duty found on
his person, while his possessions in the Zone are subject to the
provisions of Article 52 of the Regulation.
Maintaining Order And Security In The Zone And Working Conditions
ARTICLE 16 - Zone Directors must communicate their requests
concerning security in the zone to relevant offices of the Governor.
Governors are responsible for taking special measures for the provision of
security services in the zones by the police and for safeguarding the
security of the zones by commissioning an adequate number of police and
customs officers at the entrance and exit gates and borders of the zone.
Users are also obliged to employ a sufficient number of security guards
and to keep the Zone Directorate informed about the employment of at least
one such security guard.
ARTICLE 17 - Users with work premises in the zone and employees in
these workplaces are subject to the labor legislation of the Republic of
Turkey under the supervision and control of the Zone Directorates.
Principles governing minimum wage and payment of overtime in workplaces
within the territory of Turkey also apply to the workplaces of the ZFO or
the Operator and of users in a zone.
Labor Contracts concluded between employers and employees in the zone are
to be made in three copies, one of which is submitted to the Zone
Principles for the manner and procedures by which this article is enforced
are given in directives/circulars issued by the Directorate General.
Work Permits For Foreigners
ARTICLE 18 - Users must apply directly to the Zone Directorate or
the Directorate General to obtain Work Permits for foreign managers and
qualified personnel that they need to employ in the Zone.
The application is made by completing and signing the printed forms
prepared for obtaining a Work Permit and their attachments.
The application is assessed by the Directorate General in coordination
with relevant authorities and a Work Permit is granted if the application
is found appropriate. Users are jointly responsible for the actions and
behavior of their employees within the zone and for any harm that they may
inflict on third parties or to the zone during the course of their work.
Residence Permit/Night Work Permit
ARTICLE 19 - Residence in the zone is prohibited. However, for
security considerations, Residence/Night Work permits may be issued by the
Zone Directorate who must keep the security and customs administration
informed of this in writing, to the security and customs officers and
security guards who are charged with the control and security of the zone,
to those who have to reside in the zone due to the specific nature of
their jobs and to those who have to work overnight following the workday
in the zone. The residence/Night work permit granted for the zone is
restricted and is valid only for the individuals described here. In no way
or manner does this permit cover the relatives or families of said
Residence/Night Work Permits are canceled by the Zone Directorate with
immediate effect in the event of the cancellation of corresponding
Operating License, Entry Permit or Service Card.
Arrangements concerning the issue of residence permits for reasons other
than those mentioned above may only be made by the Ministry to which the
Undersecretariat is subordinated.
Working Hours And Control Of Entries And Exits
ARTICLE 20 - Business may be conducted in the zone 24 hours a day
and 7 days a week However, in principle, the work carried out in the zone,
loading and unloading and all kinds of customs procedures are to be
performed during official working hours. Where a written request is made
for work outside the official working hours or during holidays, related to
customs, permission to carry out such work may be granted following the
approval of the Zone Directorate, the consent of the Customs
Administration and the deposit of a sum for overtime work.
The ZFO, or the Operator is therefore obliged to have the necessary
personnel on duty in the zone outside official hours of business upon the
request of the Zone Directorate. The Zone Directorate takes all necessary
measures in connection with the determination and announcement of the
official hours of work.
Persons seeking entry at the gates of a zone must be able to present an
Entry Permit, a Service Card or a Special Entry Permit upon request by
customs and security officers. Anyone unable to present one of these
documents is denied entry to the Zone.
In order to prevent goods from entering or leaving the zone without
customs formalities, vehicles and persons may be searched at the gates of
the zone by the customs officers if necessary. Workplaces and vehicles of
the users may also be searched upon request by the Zone Directorate.
Social Security And Social Welfare Principles
ARTICLE 21 - Social security legislation of the Republic of Turkey
applies both to users operating in the zone and to employees -including
foreign nationals- who are in their service under a labor contract.
However, in cases when there is an agreement between Turkey and any other
country regarding social security, provisions of such an agreement also
apply. Social insurance payments to the Social Security Organizations are
payable in either foreign currency or Turkish Liras. Social security
payments to beneficiaries are made by these organizations in Turkish Liras.
Competent Authority For Communal Services In The Zone
ARTICLE 22 - Users operating in a Zone and those supplying them
with auxiliary services apply to competent officers of the ZFO, or the
Operator for the provision of paid services such as electricity, gas and
fuel supplies, communication services, transportation and public transport,
cleaning of workplaces or their surrounds, overcoming of cleaning
difficulties and solution of health problems, and for the supply of
services such as first aid and ambulances in the event of industrial
accidents and illness.
The Zone Directorate keeps a watch on these services to ensure that they
are provided in a proper and satisfactory manner and issues written
Keeping Books And Records
ARTICLE 23 - With a view to governing operations in a zone in an
orderly manner, the ZFO or the operator and users are required to maintain
their statutory books in Turkish, to supply information and documents
requested by the competent authorities and officers duly authorized by the
Zone Directorate and the Directorate General in a timely manner and to
keep their books, records and other documents available for inspection by
these authorities. In no way or by no means may they enter into their
account records any accounts concerning activities carried out outside the
The Operator or the ZFO and users are obliged to use the special invoices
specified by the Directorate General. The Operator or ZFO and users may
use their own invoices and commercial books after having them approved by
the Zone Directorate prior to the beginning of the accounting year.
The Operator Or The Zone Founder And Operator
The Operating Or Establishment And Operating Contracts With The
Operator Or ZFO
ARTICLE 24 - A zone may either be operated within the framework of
an Operation Contract by a Company established on the basis of a decision
by the Council of Ministers or established and operated under an
Establishment and Operation Contract, again by a Company established on
the basis of a decision by the Council of Ministers.
In the first case described above, the contract is named the Operation
Contract and the company authorized is the Zone Operator, whereas in the
second case the contract is labeled the Establishment and Operation
Contract and the company is the Zone Founder and Operator-ZFO. The
contracts determining the way in which the Operator or the ZFO is to
operate state the financial and administrative obligations of the
companies as specified in the Regulation as well as principles for their
management and supervision.
Financial, Administrative And Service Obligations Of The Operator Or
ARTICLE 25 - Financial, administrative and service obligations of
the Operator or the ZFO are stated below:
a) If the land delineated as the Free Zone is in the ownership of the
Treasury or a public institution and is allocated to the Operator by the
UTFT through by means of an Operation Contract, obligations of the
Operator are specified in the contract.
If the Operator of the Zone is entrusted with buildings belonging to the
Treasury and with the management of buildings and facilities built by
users to automatically revert to the Treasury upon the expiry of the
Operating Licenses of the users, the content of the general and special
conditions for leases are specified in detail in the Operation Contract
signed by the Directorate General and the Operator. Where users have built
buildings and facilities in the zone but have their Operating Licenses
expire and thus ask to rent the same buildings and facilities, the
operator accords preferential treatment to these users, provided that they
renew their Operating Licenses.
b) The ZFO may not seek payment of construction costs or rent for
buildings which it builds for the use of the Zone Directorate, the
Security and Customs Administrations and other institutions that may be
necessary. However where the Zone is established on land owned by the
Treasury or by a public institution, the ZFO is not obliged to pay rent
for the land required for infrastructure, entry-exit gates and roads,
internal roads, green areas, areas occupied by the buildings and
facilities used by the Zone Directorate, Security and Customs units and
other administrative bodies or for the land required for the distribution
of infrastructural services such as electricity, water and natural gas.
c) The Operator or the ZFO is responsible for maintenance and repair work
arising from the destruction or deterioration of the infrastructural
facilities in the zone the management of which is entrusted to it through
an Operation or Establishment and Operation Contract.
d) The Operator or the ZFO is obliged to fulfill the functions specified
in the present Regulation as well as to carry out other works and services
envisaged by the Operation or Establishment and Operation Contract that it
has signed with the UTFT.
Powers And Functions Of The Operator Or The ZFO
ARTICLE 26 - The powers and functions of the Operator or the ZFO
are stated below:
a) To operate the zone in accordance with the provisions of the Operation
or Establishment and Operation Contract signed with the UTFT
Where it is specified in the Contract that the public sector does not
provide the infrastructure, to construct infrastructural facilities in the
zone and to lease and/or sell construction areas in conformity with the
parcellation plan to a sufficient number of users,
b) Within the framework of the principles of the Operation or
Establishment and Operation Contract, to receive the applications of users
concerning their activities, to draw up with the users rent contracts for
the operation of depots, warehouses, sheds and bonded warehouses and
service contracts to provide or arrange for the provision under its
supervision, of shipping. port and other services that users may require
in the zone, and to finalize rent contracts that have not been rejected
within three working days by the Zone Directorate, to whom a copy of each
draft contract is sent, to inform the applicant in the case of rejection
by the Zone Directorate and to collect advance fees, rents and deposits in
accordance with the contracts signed.
c) To include in the contracts drawn up with the users provisions to
ensure that users take safety and hygienic precautions in the areas they
have rented and elsewhere, to prevent any changes being made without
permission, to prevent any contravention of the working practices and
conditions stipulated by the Free Zone Legislation and by circulars/directives
taking place in depots, warehouses, sheds and bonded warehouses and hence
carefully to safeguard order in the zone.
d) To obtain the information and documents that users are required to
supply to the Zone Directorate, the Port, Airport, Customs and Security
Authorities and other public institutions, e) To take the necessary
measures for the uninterrupted supply of electricity, water, gas, fuel and
communication services and to coordinate with relevant public and private
organizations to making arrangements for the collection of charges and
their payment to the appropriate bodies.
f) To insure all buildings and facilities leased in the zone against fire,
and to coordinate as necessary with the local public institutions to
ensure the availability of fire prevention and water pumping equipment and
an adequate number of fire fighting vehicles and tools to enforce general
safety measures and to establish the first aid and life-saving services
required in the case of injury in industrial and other accidents or of
g) To identify any person responsible for damages to the infrastructure or
to other property in the zone and to ensure that such damage is fully
h) To meet the demand for the transportation of goods and people in the
zone, to construct the planned parks and green areas and ensure their
maintenance and preservation, to organize places for public use such as
restaurants, cafeterias, kiosks etc. and to operate them or arrange for
their operation by third parties and to solve all cleaning and general
hygiene problems of the area.
Relations With Users
ARTICLE 27 - Users wanting a service to be performed for themselves
in connection with their activities in the zone fill in the Free Zone
Procedure Form and submit it to the Zone Directorate. They pay the related
fee to the Fund either through the Zone Directorate or by depositing it
with the local branch of the Ziraat Bank or with any other bank, attach
one of the two copies of the receipt for the payment to the other copy of
the Free Zones Procedure Form and have it delivered to the Zone
Directorate and submit these copies to the officials of the Operator or
Where no fee needs to be paid to the Fund, the application procedure is
completed when remaining copies of the Free Zone Procedure Form are
obtained back from the Zone Directorate and delivered to the Operator or
The Free Zone Procedure Form is in the force of a service contract
specifying the work relationship between the User and the Operator or the
ZFO This contract comes into effect when the form is signed by the
officials of the Operator or the ZFO and a copy is returned to the user.
Subject to a charge, users may request that the Operator or the ZFO
provide services such as the loading, unloading, transport and storage of
goods which are in the zone or entering or leaving the zone. Where the
Operator or the ZFO is unable to supply the machinery and equipment that
users require for their activities, the latter may acquire them from other
users operating in the zone subject to the permission of the Zone
Directorate and the coordination of the Operator or the ZFO The Operator
or the ZFO may not seek any charge for such services other than the fee
for the coordination services that s/he provides.
Where the Free Zone Procedures Form of a user involves a request for a
service which must be performed by a private sector agency, the user,
after acquiring preliminary permission from the Zone Directorate, pays the
service charge to the Operator or the ZFO and submits one of the two
copies of the receipt to the officials of the Operator or the ZFO for
attachment to the copy of the Free Zone Procedure Form which is available
at the Zone Directorate.
Tariffs and conditions pertaining to services performed by the Operator or
the ZFO are determined by the Directorate General.
Customs Duty And Tax Exemptions And Incentives
Customs Duty Exemptions
ARTICLE 28 - Free Trade Zones lie outside the customs boundaries.
Legislation regarding customs liabilities do not apply in Free Zones.
Although the Customs Law and related legislation is enforced at the
entrance and exit points, no customs duties, charges, fees or similar
financial obligations, with the exception of the Free Zone Establishment
and Development Fund levy, is applied to goods entering the Zone or being
exported to other countries from the zone.
Export and import transactions from a zone to Turkey made under the
Legislation on the Promotion of Exports are subject to the provisions of
the current Directive on the Promotion of Exports.
Tax Exemptions And Other Incentives
ARTICLE 29 - Provisions of legislation concerning taxes, duties,
charges and foreign exchange obligations are not applicable in Free Zones.
Earnings and revenues of real persons or legal entities resident in Turkey
who are wholly or partially liable for taxation which arise from their
activities in the zone are exempt from income and corporation tax on the
condition that they are documented in accordance with the foreign exchange
legislation and that they are transferred to Turkey.
The Operator or the ZFO and users may benefit from the incentives
determined by the Council of Ministers, during the investment and
No real person or legal entity without an Operation License is entitled to
the incentives applicable in the Free Zones.
GOODS IN THE ZONE, RENT AND SERVICE CONTRACTS AND TARIFFS
Exported And Imported Goods And Transit Goods Haulage.
ARTICLE 30 - Goods that are sent to the zone from Turkey are
treated according to the Foreign Trade Regime and are considered exported.
The Foreign Trade Regime does not apply to transactions between a zone and
other countries or the transactions among Free Zones.
Goods and services may freely be sent from a zone to any destination
A fee is charged in accordance with the paragraph (a) of Article 41 on
goods that are exported from Turkey to the zone and returned to Turkey
within the period determined by Foreign Trade Regulations.
Goods of Turkish origin costing under $500 per shipment brought into the
zone by the Zone Directorate, or by the Operator/ZFO or a user with the
permission of the Zone Directorate, may be exempted from export procedures
For goods exported from the zone, Certificates of Origin, A.TR. Movement
Certificate and EUR.1 Certificates may be issued by local Chambers, on the
basis of an official letter of the Zone Directorate without any conditions
as regards membership of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry having to
be met, in accordance with the provisions of Customs Laws and related
Customs Regulations, the EEC Regulation on Movement Certificates published
in the Official Gazette Nr. 16515 dated 10.1.1979 and the EUR.1 Regulation
on Movement Certificates published in the second edition of the Official
Gazette Nr. 21235 of 22.5.1992, respectively.
The Customs Administration in a zone endorses A.TR Movement Certificates
and EUR.1. Certificates submitted to it and grants visas after checking
the goods registered in these.
Following points apply to matters related to the origin of goods in a zone
and the issue of A.TR Movement Certificates and EUR.1 Certificates:
In accordance with Article 15 of the Customs Law, although they are within
the political territory of Turkey, the Free Zones are considered to be
outside the customs boundaries in terms of tax obligations. Goods produced
in a zone are classified as Products of Turkish origin with respect to the
country of origin criteria given in the Customs Law, namely the completely
produced product condition, which describes products obtained in Turkey,
and the sufficient transformation condition, which refers to those
products the inputs of which are of foreign or unknown origin but which
merit being treated as goods of Turkish origin due to the significance of
processes and modifications which they have undergone in Turkey.
Under Article 2 of the Additional Protocol which lays down conditions,
procedures, orders and time limits for the Transitional Stage referred to
in Article 4 of the Ankara Agreement establishing an Association between
Turkey and the European Economic Community, goods of third country origin,
for which import procedures are completed, taxes or charges with
equivalent effect to customs duty are paid, such that no full or partial
repayment of taxes and charges is effected, are deemed to be in free
circulation. A.TR. Movement Certificates issued for such goods which are
kept in a zone in raw, semi-processed and processed form or which acquire
a national character through being re-processed and becoming part of a new
product in a zone are granted visas by the Free Zones Customs
Administrations irrespective of any changes occurring in their Customs
Tariff position numbers.
In conformity with Article 3 of the Additional Protocol, A.TR. Movement
Certificates may be issued for goods obtained in Turkey or in the
Community which incorporate items of third country origin not in free
circulation, in Turkey or in the Community subject to the collection by
the Free Zone Customs Administration in the exporting country, Turkey, in
accordance with decisions number 2/72 and 3/72 of the Association Council,
of the Compensatory Levy on such third country origin goods, envisaged in
the Common Customs Tariff. A.TR, Movement Certificates for goods in
question are granted visas by the Free Zone Customs Administration.
Certificates of Origin and EUR.1 Certificates are issued for goods
acquiring Turkish origin through the fulfillment in Free Zones in Turkey
of the requirements specified by the provisions of the Additional Protocol
B of the Agreement concluded between Turkey and the EFTA States.
The EUR.1 certificates are granted visas by the Free Zone Customs
Imported Goods And Transit/Trans-shipped Goods Haulage
ARTICLE 31- Goods forwarded to Turkey from a zone are subject to
the Foreign Trade Regime and are considered imported under this
legislation. The Foreign Trade Regime is not applicable to transactions
between a zone and other countries or to transactions among zones. The
entry into and exit from a zone of transit/trans-shipped goods is subject
to the permission of the Zone Directorate.
An article is regarded as being in transit in the zone when it is
transmitted from a foreign country to another one or from a foreign
country to Turkey through the zone. The article which passes/is conveyed
through the zone does not cease to be considered to be in transit if it is
trans-shipped, unloaded or kept in the zone for any certain length of
The conveyance by sea of an article which has been brought from a foreign
country to the port of the Free Zone via sea, air, rail or road, to a port
outside the country or in another Free Zone is considered to constitute
Movement Of Goods In And Out Of The Zone
Goods Prohibited In The Zone
ARTICLE 32 - The entry of the following goods into the zone is
a) Firearms, ammunition, inflammables, explosives, combustibles,
fire-inducing materials, radioactive substances, dangerous and toxic
b) All narcotic substances other than those permitted by the Ministry of
The Movement Of Goods In And Out Of The Zone
ARTICLE 33 - Methods and principles concerning the movement of
goods in and out of the zone are governed by the circulars/directives
issued by the Directorate General.
Flow Of Goods Between The Zone And Other Destinations
ARTICLE 34 - Goods that are addressed to a zone but have for one
reason or another been unloaded at a place outside the zone or goods not
addressed to the zone but unloaded within the boundaries of the zone are
sent to their destinations in the most speedy way under the supervision
and control of the Customs Administration, Goods addressed to the Free
Zone are conveyed to the zone within the shortest time possible. However
if goods addressed to a zone, arrive at the Zone but are then stored at
the customs warehouse or at any other place due to lack space, provisions
related to the Free Zones apply to such goods given that they are sold in
Turkey under provisional acceptance or enter Turkey through any other
means or are sent abroad. This practice is halted as soon as the Zone
depots prove to be sufficient
The Customs Administration may grant permission for the temporary entry
into a zone of equipment and machinery required for loading, unloading,
transport etc. of goods in the zone upon a written request from the Zone
Directorate provided that this operation is recorded in the
"Entry-Exit Register maintained by the Customs Directorate.
Where a zone does not have access to a quay or where despite the existence
of a port in the zone, goods addressed to the zone or leaving the zone for
other destinations, are transported by sea from or to another port in the
vicinity of the Free Zone, the conveyance of the goods is by direct
delivery from the ship to the zone or from the zone to the ship in the
presence of an official commissioned by the Customs Administration on the
basis of a Free Zone Procedure Form drawn up and registered by the Zone
Directorate and also registered by the Free Zone Customs Directorate,
without any need for a Transit Declaration Form. The corridor between the
zone and the place where the ship is located is considered to fall within
the Free Zone. The movement of goods between sections of the zone which
are physically separated from one another is to take place under the
supervision of the Customs Administration.
Where dangerous substances are moved into out of zones located within or
in the vicinity of an airport, the ZFO or the Operator must ensure that
these are taken to the airport in special containers and must coordinate
with the Airport and Customs authorities to ensure that they are safely
transported to the Zone aircraft, without being kept waiting on the apron,
by vehicles that are made available at the airport.
Sale Or Transfer Of Goods
ARTICLE 35 - Users in the zone may sell their goods to Turkey or
abroad on a wholesale basis.
Users and companies which have rented depots in the zone may sell or
transfer their goods wholesale to other users in the same Zone on the
condition that they notify the Zone Directorate in writing.
No retail sales may be made in the Zone without the special permission of
the Zone Directorate. Subject to a special permit from the UTFT, retail
shops and shopping centers may be established in certain zones as deemed
necessary. Principles applicable to retail shops and shopping centers are
specified by the UTFT.
Responsibility For Goods In The Zone
ARTICLE 36 - Users engaged in operations in a zone are responsible
to the Zone Directorate for losses and shortages in quantity, kind and
weight and for changes in the quality of their goods They may only be
relieved of this responsibility if they prove that the loss or shortage is
inherent to the goods or due to force majeure circumstances.
If a shortage arises beyond that which is attributable to wastage, to
normal procedures or natural wear and tear, or if there is an
unexplainable excess of any concerning goods in the zone, the user,
Operator or ZFO must inform the Zone Directorate of the situation in
writing and fulfill all related obligations.
Goods Which Are Harmful To Keep And Goods That Must Be Destroyed
ARTICLE 37 - Where it is established by the Zone Directorate, by
the Operator or the ZFO that goods in the workplace of a user are harmful
to the goods of other users in the zone or may be detrimental to general
health and hygiene, the Zone Directorate may call on the user in writing
to remove or destroy these goods. If the user fails to begin work to this
end within 24 hours of having been notified, the Operator or ZFO launches
necessary action and the costs are covered by the user.
Any decision regarding any destruction of goods must be taken by a
commission composed of three members, two of them being officials
appointed by the Zone Directorate, the Operator or ZFO, and the third a
member appointed by the Zone Directorate who is an expert on the goods
concerned. The Customs Administration must be informed of the decision to
destroy before any action is taken by the zone administration. After the
goods are checked by the Customs Administration, the destruction work is
performed under its supervision. The destroyed goods are erased from the
registers of the user and the Customs Administration is informed of the
situation. If there is no suitable site in the zone, Import Regulations do
not apply to goods which are taken out of the zone to be destroyed.
Containers and packing materials of goods that are brought into a zone in
connection with activities in the zone, and residuals and wastes thereof
and litter which do not possess any economic value as assessed by a
Commission composed of officials from the Zone Directorate, the Customs
Administration, and the Operator or ZFO ,together with substances which
are not received by the Customs Administration, although it is informed of
their presence by the Zone Directorate , are handed over by the Operator
or the ZFO to the public and private sector officials responsible for
cleaning services outside the zone under the supervision of the Customs
Administration and the Zone Directorate. If any charges are made by these
agencies in connection with the disposal of the wastes, the costs are
covered by the user and other relevant persons. If it is necessary to
destroy such materials, this is done within the framework of procedures
and principles specified in the above paragraph.
Abandoned And Scattered Goods
ARTICLE 38 - Goods that are left behind or abandoned on parcels of
land that do not belong to any user are cleared by the Operator or the ZFO
acting under the supervision and control of the Zone Directorate, entered
in the register to be kept for this purpose and sold off in accordance
with Article 52 of the Regulation.
Goods divided and scattered during loading, unloading, haulage or other
operations and left over after re-packing are handed over to their owners
by the Operator or the ZFO only if the costs of their collection, sweeping
up and re-packing are covered by the user. Otherwise, they are treated as
ARTICLE 39 - Goods on their way into or out of the zone or being
processed within the zone that are discovered to have damaged packaging or
are suspected of having been tampered with are classified, counted or
weighed and re-packed by a commission established by the Zone Directorate
and composed of the person or the officials of the agency, loading and
unloading services to the Operator or the ZFO, the captain of the vessel
and officials of the transportation agency or their representatives. The
insurer or a representative of the insurer of the goods may also
participate in the commission. The commission prepares a report on the
situation and communicates its findings to the Zone Directorate. The
report states whether there exists any surplus or shortage of the goods.
Depending on the kind of discrepancy, the captain of the vessel. the
shipping agency, the transportation agency or the user are held
responsible according to Article 36 of the Regulation. Goods the owners of
which cannot be identified are treated as abandoned goods and become
subject to provisions of Article 38.
FREE ZONES ESTABLISHMENT AND DEVELOPMENT FUND, RENT AND SERVICE CONTRACTS
Free Zones Establishment And Development Fund
ARTICLE 40- Accounts are opened with the Central Bank of the
Republic of Turkey, in Turkish Lira and U .S. Dollars or other foreign
currency to enable the payments connected with the Free Zones
Establishment and Development Fund established as per Article 7 of the Law
to be made. In addition, Zone Directorates must open Turkish Lira accounts
and foreign exchange accounts in US Dollars or other convertible currency,
with the Ziraat Bank branch in the zone if there is one, or otherwise with
any public or private bank in order to provide for all payments realized
in their zones to be transferred to the central account within 5 working
ARTICLE 41- Fund revenues consist of the following items:
a) A payment of 0.5 % payable immediately on the FOB values of goods
leaving the zone and the CIF values of goods entering the zone with the
exception of goods brought into the zone from Turkey, goods used at the
investment and installation stages and equipment brought into the zone for
repair and maintenance purposes.
b) The Operating License Application Fee specified by the Directorate
General in conformity with Article 11, payable by those applying for an
c) The annual Entry Permit fee of 10 US Dollars or the equivalent in
Turkish Lira and the fee of 10 US Dollars or the equivalent in Turkish
Lira to be paid in case of the loss of this Permit or of a Special Entry
d) Other revenues specified in the Law, Article 7, sub-paragraph (d), viz:
1) Contributions levied on banks and insurance companies in the zone, in
the amount of 0.5% of their revenues arising from their activities in the
zone, the moneys collected on their behalf in cash or on account as a
result of all the transactions performed by them. The last date for
payment of these contributions is the end of the working day on the 20th
of January, April, July and October, in quarterly periods.
2) Contributions levied on the Operator or ZFO in the amount of 4% of
their net monthly revenue arising from their operation or establishment
and operation activities, as per the Operation or Establishment and
Operation Contracts signed with these companies, and all other fees and
revenues mentioned in these contracts.
3) 90% of the rent revenue arising if the areas rented by the Operator are
subsequently rented to the users and 63% of the rental revenue when the
areas rented to the ZFO are subsequently rented to the users - to be paid
by the Operator or ZFO by the end of working hours on the 20th day
following the month in which the revenue in question is collected.
The amounts of rent for plots that are rented to the users and have no
buildings or facilities installed on them are specified by the Operator or
ZFO separately, for each zone, and are announced to users after a top
limit has been determined and approved by the Directorate General.
4) 90% of the rent collected by the Operator or ZFO when buildings and
facilities are constructed in the zone by or on behalf of the Regional
Directorate to be rented or transferred to users and rented out by the
Operator or ZFO, or when buildings and facilities, the ownership of which
is transferred to the State Treasury as Operation Licenses expire, are
rented out by the Operator or ZFO - to be paid by the end of the working
hours on the 20th day, following the month in which the revenue in
question is collected.
5) The fee in the amount of 0.5 % of the CIF value charged on goods, tools,
materials and equipment that are brought to the zone temporarily for
reasons such as servicing, maintenance and repair and are not taken out in
the period specified in Article 58, and the bond in the amount specified
in Article 58 in the case of fixtures and investment goods of the kind
described in paragraph 2 of the Article are taken out of the zone for the
same purpose and are not brought back within 12 months.
Fees to be charged on goods that are brought into the zone for reasons
such as service, maintenance and repair and that are taken out in the
period specified by Article 58, in the amount of 5% of the value added
arising from their servicing in the zone.
e) Penalties, costs and interest specified in the contract for cases when
the Operator or ZFO or users do not fulfill their obligations in due time
or do not fulfill them at all in contravention of the provisions of
directives, written instructions and orders, the principles set out by the
Undersecretariat or the Operation and Establishment or Operation Contracts
and provisions of the Regulation.
All of the above payments are transferred to the Fund account.
Contributions specified in their contracts are not levied on revenues of
the Operator or ZFO that arise from the renting of buildings and
facilities constructed by them or on their behalf after they obtain a
separate Operating License and open separate account books or as a result
of their partnerships in organizations engaged in activities which are
performed in the zone.
In addition to these revenues, the entire fee is reimbursed where
candidate users are refused Operating Licenses although they have paid the
License Fee or where the existence of the following circumstances is
confirmed by the authorities and where the Directorate General accepts
that they constitute cases of force majeure;
- Natural disasters such as fires, earthquakes or floods that prevent
- Prevention or prohibition of the activity by a public authority,
- Where embargoes in international economic relations, quotas and/or other
changes affect the economy in such a way that prevents the activities from
being carried out.
In cases other than these, if it is reported that the activity will not
begin or that the activity is terminated and the reimbursement of the
license fee is requested, the entire fee paid is forfeited as revenue to
the fund. The receipt given for payments to the fund includes detailed
information such as the name and surname of the payer, the trade title of
the user and the amount and type of the payment.
Revenues collected by the Zone Directorates are deposited with the Turkish
Lira or foreign currency account, as appropriate, with the Central Bank of
Turkey by the end of the working day following their collection and if
they are paid to a bank branch specified in Article 40 they transferred to
the account in question within 5 working days.
Collection Of Fund Revenues And Reimbursements
ARTICLE 42- Fund Revenues that are not paid at all or not fully
paid are collected and excess amounts reimbursed in accordance with the
a) If it is discovered that amounts to be paid to the Fund in conformity
with the Law and the Regulations are not paid at all or are only partially
paid, payment of the amount in question is demanded from the user by
written notice of the Zone Directorate within 3 years of the start of the
event that generates the revenue. The Zone Directorate informs the user of
the amount and obtains his signature on the document stating this amount.
Written notice is served to those who avoid being informed of the amount
and avoid signing the document that states it.
b) Users may object to these demands by applying to the concerned Zone
Directorate within fifteen days. Amounts to be paid to the Fund by those
who declare that they have no objections in written form on the document
stating the amount within this period are considered fixed as far as
objections are concerned. Such amounts are paid within one month following
the date of their becoming fixed.
c) Objections made by users are examined by the Zone Directorate and a
conclusion is reached within one month. The decision taken by the Zone
Directorate in this respect is submitted to the Directorate General for
approval. The said decision is examined by the Directorate General and
approved or rejected within one month, The decision so approved is then
communicated to the user by the Zone Directorate. The user retains the
right to object in Administrative Courts. The date of the service of
notice is taken to be the starting date of the period allowed for
objection in Administrative Courts.
d) Those Fund Revenues that are found during examinations and
investigations performed by the Directorate General and/or the Zone
Directorate to be paid in amounts in excess of those dictated by the Law
and Regulation are reimbursed within one year of the start date of the
event that generates the revenue. Within this same period, users may
request the reimbursement only of Fund Revenue that is overpaid.
Pursuit Of Fund Receivables And Penalties And Prescription
ARTICLE 43- Fund Revenues that are not paid and penalties in
connection with these are followed up as per the provisions of the Code of
the Execution and Bankruptcy.
If debts to the Fund are linked to an activity that calls for criminal
action and the period for which lawsuits are allowed to continue in this
connection is longer, then the periods allowed for the lawsuit and penalty
under the Turkish Penal Code apply for such debts.
ARTICLE 44- Zone Directorates submit their program proposals on
revenue and expenditure estimates with regard to the following year to the
Directorate General by the end of working hours on the 15th of July every
year. The Directorate General plans the expenditures of the central
organization by the same date and contacts Zone Directorates about the
proposals sent by the zones, completes necessary revisions and submits
them by the last week of August at the latest, to the approval of the
Minister to which the Undersecretariat is subordinated.
Any transfer made between the Fund items thereafter come into effect upon
the re-approval of the Undersecretariat.
The Directorate General and the zones may make expenditures within the
framework of their budgets and the appropriations assigned to them. In the
central organization, the Minister concerned, the Undersecretary, the
Deputy Undersecretary and the General Director are authorized to make
expenditures, depending on their size, and in zones, the Zone Directors
and the personnel authorized by them are authorized to make expenditures,
within financial limits specified and approved by the Minister. The
Directorate General is authorized to make expenditures and transfers where
the total sum or ratio involved is laid down exactly by the Law, Decrees,
By-Laws and Regulations.
Principles Of Expenditure
ARTICLE 45- For expenditures made by the Directorate General, a
request must first be received by the Head of the Financial Affairs
Department from the Department Head responsible, and this demand must be
submitted to the approval of the Directorate General through the Deputy
General Director responsible for finance.
In purchases made from the Fund by the Directorate General, the purchasing
committee consists of the Department Head concerned with expenditure, an
official from the same department and an official from the department of
financial affairs under the chairmanship of the Deputy General Director in
charge of financial matters. Decisions of the Purchasing Committee are
submitted to the approval of the concerned authority, depending on
expenditure limits mentioned in Article 44.
Expenditures made by the Zone Directorates are decided upon by a committee
consisting of two officials, one from the financing department and the
other from the accounts service, under the chairmanship of the Zone
Director or the person authorized by him in his absence. The names of the
personnel thus assigned with this task are submitted to the Directorate
General one month before the beginning of each financial year.
Lists of the personnel authorized to make expenditures on behalf of the
Fund at the central and regional levels are submitted to the Central Bank
of the Republic of Turkey by the Directorate General.
Amounts of cash held in the Fund with the Central Bank of the Republic of
Turkey may be made profitable by the Directorate General by investing them
in Treasury Bonds and Government Bills.
Rent and Service Contracts
Matters That Should Be Specified In Rent Contracts
ARTICLE 46- Rent contracts signed between users and the Operator or
ZFO must include provisions laying down the following conditions:
a) Rental contracts may not be conducted for periods longer than that
indicated in the Operating License given to the user beforehand. Rent
contracts are abolished when the parties send notices of cancellation to
each other upon the expiry or cancellation of the Operation License. In
such event, rent for the operational period, cost of necessary repairs and
other costs are deducted from the amount of security specified in the rent
contract and the rest is paid back to the user. If the user turns out to
be indebted, necessary legal measures are taken against him for the
compensation of repairs or other costs. If the user does not take his
goods and belongings away with him within one month following abolishment,
these goods and belongings are liquidated.
b) Any real estate such as buildings, hangers, warehouses, depots, and
facilities constructed on the rented plot by the user, excluding the
movables, become the property of the Treasury upon the expiry of the term
of the Operating License.
c) At the expiry of the Operating License and the contract, if the ZFO
wishes to re-rent to the same user the plot and the facilities thereupon
whose operation is left to the ZFO pursuant to the provision of Article
25, the total rent is calculated considering the plot and building unit
rental fees separately, and they are rented to the said user with
d) The user must take necessary precautions against fire and other hazards
in the plot that he rents and must insure the buildings and facilities
therein against fire.
e) The user is responsible for all goods that enter or leave the place he
rents and must conform with the provisions hereof.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE, BANKING, INSURANCE SERVICES
Foreign Exchange, Banking And Insurance Services
ARTICLE 47 - Costs of goods, payments to the Fund, service fees,
wages and premiums of workers and rents related to activities in the zone
are paid in foreign currency. Payments made in Turkish Lira in the zone
are governed by the provisions of the Decision of the Council of Ministers
Nr. 85/9801 dated 16 August 1985.
Real persons and legal entities residing abroad and investing in a zone
must bring the cash portion of their capitals in the form of foreign
currency. Foreign capital institutions, or real persons and legal entities
domiciled abroad that operate in Turkey are free to transfer the capital
they bring to the zone in the form of cash in foreign currency, assets in
kind or real rights, and any profits and revenues arising therefrom, as
well as sale and/or liquidation proceeds, to other parts of Turkey or
abroad. However such persons must inform the Zone Directorate of the
assets to be transferred, and certify that such assets belong to them.
Transfer to other parts of Turkey of such cash capital as is exported into
the Zone by persons domiciled in Turkey together with any profits and
revenues obtained from investments, as well as sale and/or liquidation
proceeds is permitted. However the export of capital in kind is subject to
the permission of the UTFT. Transfer of such capital in cash and/or in
kind and of any profits and/or revenues obtained from investments, as well
as sale and/or liquidation proceeds abroad is also permitted.
Banking And Insurance Services
ARTICLE 48 - Banks, excluding off-shore banks. and insurance
companies located in a zone must operate in accordance with the provisions
of general legislation.
Banks in a zone extend loans to users with priority according to their
Matters not provided for by the legislation on Free Zones concerning
banking activities in the zone are governed by provisions of Article 74 of
the Banks Act Nr. 3182, dated 25.4.1985. The establishment of banks. or
the opening of branch offices in the Zone by foreign banks are subject to
the principles laid down in the Decision of the Council of Ministers Nr.
90/999 dated 18 September 1990.
Loading and Unloading Services And Other Services
Loading And Unloading Services
ARTICLE 49 - Loading, unloading and transport services for goods
coming to a zone are performed by the ZFO or the Operator. In zones where
is no Operator or ZFO these services may be performed by private persons
or establishments, within the knowledge of the Zone Directorate. When the
mentioned services are performed by private persons or establishments, a
contract is signed between the Zone Directorate, the Operator or the ZFO
and said person or establishment. The Free Zone Service Tariff, prepared
by the Operator or the ZFO is approved by the Directorate General taking
the opinion of the zone Directorate, and procedures and principles
concerning the collection of service fees are set out in this tariff.
ARTICLE 50 - Those who wish to perform various service activities
in a zone, like forwarding agents, customs brokers, sworn-in (certified)
financial consultants, self-employed accountants and financial consultants,
contractors. experts. engineers, architects or business supervisors may do
so with an Operating License and/or Entry Permit issued by the Zone
Objections And Complaints
ARTICLE 51 - Objections and complaints about licenses, permissions,
services and fees in conjunction with a zone are made in the following
a) Objections and Complaints about Licenses and Permissions:
Objections and complaints about licenses and permissions such as Operating
Licenses, Entry Permits and Construction Permits are made to the
b) Objections and Complaints about Services and Fees:
Objections about the Operator providing services or about the ZFO are made
by users to the Zone Directorate in question within three days of the date
on which information about the event that forms the subject of the
objection is acquired.
If an objection or complaint is examined and found credible and based on
justifiable grounds, the Operator or the ZFO authorities are informed, and
the matter investigated, by taking into consideration any defense replies
given and provisions of the contract made between the Undersecretariat and
the Operator or ZFO.
If the objection or complaint is found justified, the Operator or the ZFO.
is requested in writing to correct the act in question or to perform the
transaction that is omitted, as the case may be.
If there is no action by the Operator or the ZFO on the basis of this
warning, necessary measures are taken by the Zone Directorate, and the
Undersecretariat is informed of the matter.
Closure Of Workplaces And Liquidation
ARTICLE 52- Users who are subject to Article 8, paragraph 5 hereof
and who wish to close down their workplaces or whose Operating Licenses
are canceled may sell or transfer the buildings and facilities on their
plots to other real persons or legal entities, subject to the consent of
the Undersecretary. The ownership of the buildings and facilities of users
who are not subject to Article 8, Paragraph 5 hereof are transferred to
the Treasury the upon cancellation of their Operating Licenses.
Users who wish to close down their workplaces and liquidate their goods
therein may inform third persons of their intention by placing
advertisements in the local media twice, with an interval of eight days in
between, at least one month before the date of liquidation, and must also
inform the Zone Directorate and the Operator or the user within the same
The Zone Directorate may permit the user to proceed with liquidation only
if the latter proves that he has no outstanding debts to third parties.
When such permission is granted, an official of the Zone Directorate and
the Operator or the ZFO are entrusted with the liquidation procedure.
If the user disappears before the completion of the liquidation procedure
or neglects to complete it or is observed to adopt an uncooperative
attitude, the liquidation procedure is completed by a Liquidation
Committee including an appointee of the Operator or the ZFO or a person
entrusted by local professional organizations under the chairmanship of a
person appointed by the Zone Directorate in question.
If the Committee seizes the user's goods and determines that his debts are
not completely paid off, it may decide to pay off the debts by selling the
goods in a public auction. The expenditures incurred by the agency making
the sale, the claims and costs arising from services performed, the
expenses incurred for the sale and the expenses of the committee are
charged to the account of the user and are settled with priority during
the liquidation. If the sale proceeds do not meet the debts, they are
distributed pro-rata. The date of the public auction is announced twice
with a one-day interval in between, 15 days before the sale.
The first sale is performed on the basis of minimum prices corresponding
to 75% of the invoice value or, if this is not available, of the estimated
value of the goods. If the goods are not sold in the first sale. a second
sale takes place with the goods being sold to the highest bidder. Where it
is determined that the user has no outstanding debts and that nobody has
any claims on the goods, any unclaimed goods or sums remaining after the
sale and the payment of debts are seized by the Committee as income to the
Fund. If, within 10 years following such forfeiture, the user who owns the
goods so requests. this amount is paid to him.
Goods that can not be liquidated in the Zone are handed over to the
Customs Administration under minutes drawn up by the above-mentioned
committee, and liquidated in conformity with the provisions of the By-Laws
Concerning Goods Abandoned or Assumed to have been Abandoned in Customs or
Confiscated issued pursuant to Article 141 of the Customs Law Nr. 1615.
However, restrictive and binding provisions laid down in the foreign
exchange and foreign trade regimes do not apply in such liquidation
Expenditures incurred by the Customs Office and the public agency
entrusted with the liquidation, are deducted together with other charges
from the sale proceeds and the remainder handed over to the Zone
Directorate to be seized and deposited in the Fund. Expenditures, costs
and receivables mentioned in Paragraph 5 of this Article are paid with
priority and the remainder registered as revenue to the Fund.
Settlement Of Disputes By Reconciliation
ARTICLE 53- Any disputes excluding disputes of interest involving
Collective Labor Contracts arising from business relations between a user
and the Operator or the ZFO or among other persons and establishments
operating in the Zone, may be settled through reconciliation by applying
to the Zone Directorate. If such a dispute is settled by the Zone
Directorate through reconciliation, the matter is recorded in minutes and
one copy is given to each party, with another copy kept by the Zone
ARTICLE 54- In the application of the provisions of this regulation
with regard to the periods of time, time extensions may be granted in line
with procedures and principles determined by the Directorate General in
cases of force majeure and unexpected circumstances.
Arrangement Of Places Incorporated In The Zone
ARTICLE 55- Places that are separated from airports and harbors and
incorporated in a zone are governed by these provisions. Depending on
special conditions of such places. additional principles may be laid down
by the Undersecretariat when deemed necessary.
ARTICLE 56- In order to help increase foreign trade, information
services in subjects such as:
- Making and developing contacts with foreign entrepreneurs;
- Passing on international statistics;
- Supplying information on know-how, license and cooperation proposals,
- Passing on information on firms and foreign trade policies in
may be provided by the Directorate General by way of passing on to users
data of this kind supplied by international data banks and various other
national and international bodies and institutions.
Zones Where There Is No Operator Or ZFO
ARTICLE 57- Where there is no Operator or ZFO, duties assigned to
these in this Regulation are executed by the Zone Directorate.
Waiting Periods And Bonds
ARTICLE 58- Goods, tools, materials and equipment that are brought
into the Zone temporarily for maintenance or repair purposes and that are
not owned by users in economic terms may not remain in the Free Zone of
Istanbul Atatürk Airport for more than one month or in other zones for
more than 12 months.
During any temporary exit from a zone, for maintenance or repair of
investment goods and permanent fixtures registered in the books and
records of a user, a bond in the amount of 0.5% of the book value is paid
into the account of the Fund, and this bond is returned to the owner upon
the re-entry of the goods temporarily removed from the zone
Turkish currency, foreign currency, bank letters of guarantee or Treasury
bills and bonds may be accepted as bond.
ARTICLE 59- Following Regulations issued previously are hereby
- The Mersin Free Zone Regulations and Antalya Free Zone Regulations
published in the Official Gazette Nr. 18896, dated 12 October 1985;
- The Aegean Free Zone Regulations published in the Official Gazette Nr.
19974, dated 30 October 1988;
- The Istanbul Atatürk Airport Free Zone Regulations published in the
Official Gazette Nr. 20517, dated 13 May 1990:
- The Adana-Yumurtalik Free Zone Regulations published in the Official
Gazette Nr. 20626, dated 5 September 1990;
- The Istanbul -Trakya Free Zone Regulations published in the Official
Gazette, Nr. 20784, dated 12 February 1991, and .
- The Trabzon Free Zone Regulation published in the Official Gazette Nr.
20811, dated 11 March 1991.
INTERIM ARTICLE 1- Favorable terms contained in contracts signed
with the ZFOs and Operators before present Regulations enter into effect
- The operation of the Mersin Free Zone by MESBAS-Mersin Free Zone
Operator Inc., from 10.10.1986 to 10.10.2006.
- The operation of the Antalya Free Zone by ASBAS-Antalya Free Zone
Operator Inc., from 10.10.1986 to 10.10.2006,
- The operation of the Aegean Free Zone by ESBAS-Aegean Free Zone Operator
Inc., from 30.10.1989 to 30.10.2019,
- The establishment and operation of the Adana-Yumurtalik Free Zone by
TAYSEB -Toros Adana Yumurtalik Free Zone Founder and Operator Inc., from
12.12.1990 to 12.12.2020,
- The establishment and operation of the Trabzon Free Zone by
TRANSBAS-Trabzon Free Zone Founder and Operator Inc., from 10.07.1991 to
remain in full force and effect until contracts in question expire.
INTERIM ARTICLE 2- Provisions of Operating Licenses issued before
the date upon which the present Regulation takes effect remain unaffected.
Users who have received Operating Licenses by the time this Regulation
comes into effect may exercise the rights laid down in paragraphs 4 and 5
of Article 11 hereof whenever they wish.
INTERIM ARTICLE 3- Procedures started before this Regulation takes
effect continue to be handled in conformity with the Regulations of the
Free Zone concerned. Favorable provisions hereof also apply to procedures
Entry Into Effect
ARTICLE 60- This Regulation enters into effect on the date of its
publication in the Official Gazette.
ARTICLE 61- The provisions hereof are executed by the Minister to
whom the Undersecretariat of the Treasury and Foreign Trade is
FIELDS OF ACTIVITY IN THE FREE ZONES
FIELDS OF ACTIVITY IN THE ANTALYA AND MERSIN FREE ZONES
(Based on the Decision 85/22 of August 14 1985 issued by the Supreme
Fields of activity that may be pursued in Mersin and Antalya Free Zones
are arranged with the objectives of increasing Turkey's exports,
accelerating the transfer of capital and technology, meeting the
requirements of the economy for inputs at a lower cost and in a more
orderly way and taking better advantage of foreign trade and financing as
I. Commercial and Service Activities
1.1 ) All types of operations including packing, storing, repair,
assembly, disassembly and wholesale trade.
1.2) Banking. insurance. engineering, architecture. consulting, agency,
business supervision, broker agency, and leasing activities,
1.3) Parking, maintenance and repair work of the mechanical equipment and
machinery belonging to Turkish contractors, and used abroad, (only in
Antalya Free Zone).
1.4) Activities pertaining to the fulfillment of personal needs.
II, Production Activities
Production activities with priorities given to electronic appliances,
optics, foodstuff and ready wear clothing.
FIELDS OF ACTIVITY IN THE AEGEAN FREE ZONE
(Based on the Decision 90 of October 7,1988 issued by the Supreme Planning
Fields of activity that may be pursued in Izmir-Gaziemir (Aegean) Free
Zone are arranged with the objectives of increasing Turkey's exports,
accelerating the transfer of foreign capital and technology, satisfy the
requirements of the economy for inputs at a lower cost and in a more
orderly way, and realize the advanced technology intensive production at a
I. Production Activities
Those manufacturing enterprises with particular priorities given to
electronic appliances and accessories, optical devices, medical
appliances, precision machinery, calculators, computers and related
equipment and all other food processing and industrial production
enterprises with definite export prospect.
II. Commercial and Service Activities
2.1) All types of enterprises including packing, storing, sorting and
labeling, repairing, assembling,
2.2) Banking, insurance, consulting, and engineering services and other
services which are approved by the State Planning Organization.
2.3) Other activities pertaining to the fulfillment of personal needs.
FIELDS OF ACTIVITY IN THE ISTANBUL ATATÜRK AIRPORT FREE ZONE
(Based on Decision 90/T-32 of 18 April 1990 issued by the Supreme Planning
I- Fields of Activity
1) Placing and accepting orders for textile raw materials and all kinds of
ready-made clothing, raw fabric, fabric, threads, fibers, imitation silver
and synthetic threads, carpets and rugs, paints and chemical substances,
stiffening, ribbons, ribbings, zippers, buttons, snap fasteners, labels,
bags and paper and all accessories and similar materials, cut-out and sewn
materials and electronic. optical and medical supplies and equipment,
making necessary contacts in connection with these and carrying out
sorting, buying, selling, classifying, exhibiting, packaging and shipment
procedures and especially procedures for the delivery through temporary
acceptance at home of incoming goods and the performance of any kind of
commercial and service activity that contributes to exports carried out in
2 ) Service activities such as banking and insurance and
3 ) Other activities geared towards meeting personal needs in the zone.
FIELDS OF ACTIVITY IN THE ISTANBUL - TRAKYA FREE ZONE
(Based on Decision 93/T-12 of 5 February 1993 issued by the Supreme
Fields of activity that may be pursued in the IstanbuI-Trakya Free Zone
are re- arranged with the objectives of increasing Turkey's exports,
accelerating the transfer of capital and technology, meeting the
requirements of the economy for inputs at a lower cost and in a more
orderly way, promoting intensive production involving high technology and
making use of the tourism potential of Turkey, as follows:
I. Production Activities
Ready-made clothing, knitting and textiles, the assembling and production
of optical and electronic devices, materials, equipment, etc., processed
food production, gold- processing, carpet production, ready-made leather
clothing and any and all industrial activities contributing to exports,
II. Commercial and Service Activities
1. Placing and accepting orders for textile raw materials, and all kinds
of thread, fiber, imitation silver and synthetic thread, raw fabric,
fabric stiffening, ribbons, ribbings, buttons, snap fasteners, labels,
bags, paper, models and all accessories and similar materials for
ready-made clothing and knitting, materials and equipment for cutting out
and sewing and their electronic parts, other electronic and optical
machines and tools, all kinds of trade and service concerned with gold
processing, carpet producing, ready-made leather clothing and food, the
performance of all kinds of commercial operations and the establishment of
shopping and commercial center in connection with these activities, the
storing, classifying, displaying, packaging, buying, selling and dispatch
to destination of goods coming in from abroad, the delivery of faulty
goods to Turkey subsequent to a sale and the sale abroad of raw,
semi-manufactured and manufactured materials coming in from Turkey and the
performance of every kind of trade and service activity that contributes
to exports in this way.
2. Banking, insurance, engineering, architecture, surveying, consulting,
agency, commercial supervision, commission work, renting and other service
FIELDS OF ACTIVITY IN THE TRABZON FREE ZONE
(Based on Decision 90/T-47 of 17 July 1990 issued by the Supreme Planning
I. Fields of Activity
As decided on 17 July 1990:
1. Packaging, storing, assembling, dissembling, buying. selling, banking,
insurance and similar activities to be approved by the State Planning
Organization may be performed in the Trabzon Free Zone, the borders of
which have been determined by Decree 90/450 of 8 May 1990 issued by the
Council of Ministers.
2. The Directorate-General of Turkish Maritime Operations participates in
the company with a nominal capital of TL 1.500 million (one billion and
five hundred million Turkish Liras) that is to be established and that is
to operate the Trabzon Free Zone, at the rate of 34 percent, provided that
the participation commitment is met out of equity.
FIELDS OF ACTIVITY IN THE LEATHER FREE ZONE, ISTANBUL
(Based on Decision 93/T-4 of 14 January 1993 issued by the Supreme
Fields of activity that may be pursued out in the Istanbul Leather Free
Zone are determined as follows, with a view to increasing Turkey's
exports, accelerating the transfer of capital and technology, meeting the
needs of the economy for inputs at lower costs and in a more orderly way
and ensuring an increase in intensive production employing high
1. Production Activities
a) In particular, ready-made leather clothing and the production of
processed leather, artificial leather, stout leather and other such
materials and goods and the production of harnesses. shoes and clothes
from these materials;
b) Secondary materials. chemical substances, dyes and machinery and
equipment and other devices used in the manufacture and processing of the
said goods, and the assembly and production of machinery, equipment and
tools, and especially industrial production activities that contribute to
2. Commercial and Service Activities
2.1) Placing and accepting orders and performing every kind of commercial
process for raw, semi-manufactured and manufactured leather and stout
leather, all kinds of processed leather, artificial leather and other
materials, harnesses, shoes, clothes and ready-made leather clothing and
thread, synthetic threads and all similar materials used in the production
thereof, various accessories for ready-made leather clothing. dyes and
necessary chemical substances. zippers, rubber bands. buttons, snap
fasteners, labels, paper bags, models and other materials, the electronic
parts of cutting out and sewing machines. and other electronic machines,
mechanical machines, cupboards, spare parts and tools and equipment, and
storing, classifying, displaying, packaging, buying, selling. and
dispatching the goods and materials mentioned, together with the purchase
of goods at home or abroad and their sale at home or abroad, and all types
of trade and service activities that contribute to exports.
2.2) Banking. insurance and other service activities that may be approved.
PRINCIPLES FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT, DUTIES, POWERS AND
FUNCTIONS OF FREE ZONE DIRECTORATES
(Based on the Decree 85/9801 dated August 18, 1985 of the Council of
Establishment Of Zone Directorates
ARTICLE 1 - In each free zone that has a location and borders
specified by the Council of Ministers, a Regional Free Zone Directorate is
established under the Governor of the province in which the zone is
Duties And Powers Of The Zone Directorate
ARTICLE 2 - The duties and powers of the Zone Directorate are
a) To govern the zone in accordance with the Free Zones legislation.
b) To grant and inspect all permits and licenses pertaining to the use of
the land, and to the planning, construction, and utilization of the
buildings and facilities,
c) To collect payments made to the Fund for the Establishment and
Development of Free Zones. to deposit such funds into the fund account,
and to make expenditures from this fund within the framework of annual
budgets finalized by the approval of the Prime Minister or the Minister of
State-Vice Prime Minister authorized by him.
d) To ensure the necessary coordination for the provision of such public
services as customs, security, labor. social security. port,
communication, and health services,
e) To supervise and check all operations performed in accordance with the
terms of the management contract enacted with the Zone Operator as well as
contracts enacted between the Operator and users, public and private
f) To ensure the preparation of tariff lists regarding service fees and
rents in connection with the services provided and the places rented by
the Zone Operator.
g) To grant entry permits and to establish necessary control,
h) To receive the applications pertaining to the issuing of residence or
i) To receive objections and complaints. to ensure the settlement of
disputes by reconciliation and, if necessary, to hand them over to the
j) To keep the registration records for real persons and legal entities
who have an Operating License with the purpose of operating in the zone,
and to supply related documents,
k) To provide all kinds of information and documents required by the
Office of the Governor and other superior authorities, to evaluate zone
operations and to present the results of such operations within the year
in the form or annual activity and accounting reports.
Duties, Powers And Responsibilities Of The Free Zone Director
ARTICLE 3 - The Free Zone Director takes all the necessary measures
to ensure the fulfillment of the duties stated in Article 2 and their
performance in conformity with the laws. He is responsible for the
necessary supervision, inspection, and implementation in connection with
the performance of these duties.
Organization Of The Zone Directorate
ARTICLE 4 - The Free Zone Directorate consists of the Zone Director
and an adequate number of Unit Chiefs, Experts, Associate Experts. and
ARTICLE 5 - These articles enter into force as of the date of their
ARTICLE 6 - These articles are enforced by the Prime Ministry.
DECREE CONCERNING PAYMENTS THAT MAY BE MADE IN TURKISH CURRENCY IN FREE
(Based on The Decree Of The Council of Ministers Nr. 85/9801 Dated 16
ARTICLE 1- All payments in connection with activities in Free Zones
are made in such foreign currency as is determined by Law Nr. 3218 of 5
However, prices of goods and services and workers' wages and rents may be
paid in Turkish Lira during the investment period.
ARTICLE 2- This Decision takes effect on the date of its
ARTICLE 3- This Decision is executed by the Prime Ministry.
EXPLANATION (By the Government of Turkey):
It is considered proper that the Turkish Lira, rendered convertible by
Communiqué 89-32/1 concerning Decision 32 on the Protection of the Value
of the Turkish Currency which came into effect upon its publication in the
Official Gazette Nr. 20251, dated 13 August 1989 pursuant to approval
92/26 of 9 July 1992 of the Undersecretariat, is treated as a foreign
currency in free zones and that, upon mutual agreement of the parties
concerned, it is possible for all payments in free zones to be made in
amounts of TL equivalent to foreign currency sums. (In determining the TL
equivalent of a foreign currency sum, the cash selling rate of one of the
banks operating in the zone prevailing on the date of payment is taken as
1) Article 74 of the Banks Act Nr. 3182 as amended by Decree No 512
ARTICLE 74 - Off-Shore Banking
1. Subjects related to the establishment of banks exclusively performing
off- shore banking operation or opening of branch offices of foreign
banks, their operation principles and fields as well as their accounting,
booking and auditing procedures are determined by the Council of
2. Neither other provisions of this Law nor articles 40, 43, 44 of Law
1211 governing the Central Bank of the Turkish Republic are applicable to
3. If procedures of banks are found to be in contravention of the Decree
of the Council of Ministers issued in accordance with the first paragraph
of this article the Operating Licenses of such banks are canceled:
2) Amendment Of The Law The Prohibition And Prosecution Of Smuggling
4. Provisions of this Law are applicable to banking operations other than
off-shore banking in Free Trade Zones.
(Official gazette dated June 11, 1985, Nr. 18781 )
ARTICLE 7 - Annex Article 8 has been appended to Law, Nr. 1918
regarding the Prohibition and Prosecution of Smuggling.
ANNEX ARTICLE 8 - Bringing goods from other parts of Turkey into
the free trade zones or taking them out of the free trade zones into other
parts of Turkey, or attempting to perform such deeds, without subjecting
them to customs formalities, is considered smuggling. In the
implementation of the penal clauses of the regulations on smuggling, free
trade zones are treated as zones outside of the country.
ADDRESSES, PHONE & FAX NUMBERS OF THE TURKISH FREE
ZONE DIRECTORATES AND OF THE FREE ZONE OPERATOR-FOUNDER/OPERATOR FIRMS
T.R PRIME MINISTERY,
UNDERSECRETARIAT FOR FOREIGN TRADE,
GENERAL DIRECTORATE OF FREE ZONES,
TEL: (0312) 212 58 87-88 Director General
(0312) 212 89 09 Deputy Director General
(0312) 212 58 90 Head of Department
FAX: (0312) 212 89 06
E-MAIL: sbgm@ foreigntrade.gov.tr