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. Without prejudice to WTO provisions, the Turkey-EU customs union provides an important legal basis for Turkey`s free trade agreements. Within the framework of the customs union, Turkey is directing its trade policy towards the EU`s common trade policy. This harmonization concerns both autonomous regimes and preferential agreements with third countries. It describes the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to which that country belongs, including with the United States. Includes websites and other resources that allow U.S. companies to get more information about how they can use these agreements. 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 rules of origin (Annex I) are governed by the regional convention on the rules of pan-European origin. This will allow materials to be accumulated from the EFTA, Turkey and other Pan-Euro Med Member States as soon as the relevant agreements between the parties concerned have been concluded. The agreement provides tariff concessions for agricultural products processed under Schedule III. Trade in agricultural commodities is covered by three bilateral agricultural agreements negotiated between the EFTA state concerned, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland/Liechtenstein and Turkey. While bilateral agricultural agreements between Norway and Turkey, as well as Iceland and Turkey, remain in force, the bilateral agricultural agreement between Switzerland and Turkey has also been modernized and will replace the existing bilateral agricultural agreement after the modernized EFTA-Turkey free trade agreement comes into force. These bilateral agricultural agreements are part of the instruments for creating the free trade area. They provide for significant concessions on both sides, taking into account the respective sensitivities.
One of the objectives of the agreement (Article 1) is to promote the harmonious development of economic relations between the contracting parties by extending mutual trade. The agreement contains provisions relating to the elimination of tariffs and other trade barriers, as well as other trade-related disciplines, such as competition rules, intellectual property protection, public procurement, state monopolies, state aid, payments and transfers. A joint committee was established to oversee the agreement. The provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights (Chapter 4 and Appendix XX) include trademarks, copyrights, patents and geographical indications and include provisions relating to respect for intellectual property rights and cooperation between the parties. They are based on the WTO agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) and provide a high level of protection, taking into account the principles of the most favoured nation and national treatment. 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.