Regional Trade Agreements And Member Countries Turkey

December 16th, 2020 5:24 am

The customs union came into force on 31 December 1995. It applies to all industrial goods, but does not concern agriculture (except processed agricultural products), services or public procurement. Bilateral trade concessions apply to agricultural products as well as to coal and steel products. Trade in agricultural commodities is covered by three bilateral agricultural agreements negotiated between the EFTA state concerned, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland/Liechtenstein and Turkey. These agreements are part of the instruments for setting up the free trade area between the EFTA countries and Turkey. They provide for significant concessions on both sides, taking into account the respective sensitivities. Each agreement contains specific rules of origin, usually based on “fully preserved” criteria. The agreement contains detailed provisions on trade facilitation (Annex VI), including certain elements of the WTO. In today`s world, countries tend to enter into bilateral and regional free trade agreements, as the World Trade Organization (WTO) has achieved a high level of liberalization, with insufficient WTO rules under current conditions and an inefficient multilateral trading system to allow better market access.

As a result of this trend, some 400 free trade agreements are being notified to the WTO. Chapter 3 closely follows the approach of the WTO`s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). It covers trade in all service sectors under the four types of supply. Separate annexes on the recognition of service provider qualifications (Annex X), the free movement of individuals providing services (Annex XI), e-commerce (Annex XIII), telecommunications services (Annex XVI), co-productions (Annex XV), financial services (Annex XVI), health services (Annex XVII), tourism and travel services (Annex XVII) and international road and logistics transport services (Annex XIX) complete the chapter with additional disciplines specific to these sectors. The lists of contracting parties with specific obligations and derogations from the treatment of the most favoured nation (MPF) are listed in AppendixES XII and IX respectively. These lists are subject to regular revision to further liberalize the exchange of services between the two parties. The modernized EFTA-Turkey Free Trade Agreement was signed on 25 June 2018 and includes trade in products (industrial products, seafood and seafood and processed agricultural products), trade in services, protection of intellectual property rights, public procurement, competition, trade and sustainable development. In addition, the updated bilateral agricultural agreements between the various EFTA countries and Turkey are still part of the instruments for creating the free trade area. For eFTA-Turkey trade statistics, see EFTA trade statistics tool The agreement covers trade in all fish and other seafood (Article 4 and Appendix II). THE EFTA states and Turkey grant duty-free access to imports of all fish and seafood.

The provisions relating to the protection of intellectual property rights (Article 15 and a new Annex XII) concern, among other things, patents, trademarks, copyrights and geographical indications. The Turkey-EU customs union has eliminated tariffs, quantitative restrictions and measures of equivalent effect in trade in industrial products to ensure the free movement of goods. As a result of the customs union, Turkey has opened its internal market to competition in the EU and third countries, while guaranteeing its exporters free access to the EU market. In addition, Turkey is committed to adapting to the preferential regimes that the EU applies to third countries and to harmonising its legislation with the EU acquis in a wide range of areas, including technical standards and regulations, as well as competition policy.

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