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Customs Union Agreement With Turkey

The EU and Turkey are bound by a customs union agreement that came into force on 31 December 1995. Although British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a supporter of a customs union, Trade Minister Liam Fox warned on Tuesday that a deal on a lasting customs union with the EU would be a “great deterrent for other countries to negotiate trade deals with Britain.” Import or export tariffs and equivalent effect taxes were abolished completely between the Community and Turkey on 31 December 1995 – As of 31 December 1995, Turkey was moving towards the common tariff vis-à-vis non-Community countries. With regard to trade in processed agricultural products, the determination of industry and agriculture in the products in Schedule 1 of the decision removed tariffs on the industrial part of the overall protection. Within five years of the decision coming into force, Turkey enshrines in its internal legal order the Community instruments aimed at removing technical barriers to trade. Quantitative import and export restrictions and any measures of equivalent effect are prohibited between the contracting parties. The Turkish complaints centre on a fundamental problem that would also concern Britain: Brussels having granted new trade agreements around the world, goods from these partner countries can enter the EU at reduced or zero tariffs, and then enter Turkey free of charge through the customs union. However, Turkish companies do not benefit from reciprocal reductions in tariffs on exports to these countries, as Ankara is not part of EU trade agreements. The dynamic effects of the customs union have contributed positively to the competitiveness and productivity of Turkish manufacturing and have had an influence on foreign direct investment in Turkey. In addition, structural changes and the competitive approach have diversified production methods and ensured safe and quality products. The infrastructure of technical legislation put in place in accordance with the EU system and the adoption of EU rules on intellectual property and competition have increased Turkey`s competitiveness in world markets, thereby strengthening its integration into the global economy. Decision 1/95 of the Association Council imposed stricter obligations than those set out in the definition of the customs union in the Ankara Agreement.

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