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EXPORTING TO TURKEY: INSIGHTS FOR CROSS-BORDER SUCCESS

Yasemin Bucali
Yasemin Bucali
7 min read
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Have you considered exporting to Turkey? Here’s a stat that might just convince you: nearly 64% of the Turkish population purchased a product or service online in 20221. In a country of over 86 million people2, that’s a lot of opportunities for savvy e-commerce businesses looking to target new markets.

All you need is an international shipping partner and you’ll be ready to cash in! Read on as we explore how to export to Turkey, including key consumer insights, market trends, and customs advice.

MARKET OVERVIEW

graphic of DHL logistics activities on Turkish map

86 million people(3)

As of 2023, the median age of the Turkish population is 31.8 years(4).

graphic of DHL logistics activities

E-commerce is growing

The coronavirus pandemic altered the behavior of many Turkish shoppers, nudging them online. In the last quarter of 2022, e-commerce transactions in the country were up 37% compared to the same quarter in the previous year(5).

graphic of shopping activities

Mobile commerce is big business

Half of all e-commerce transactions in Turkey take place on mobile devices(6). Apps are particularly popular amongst consumers there (over mobile browsers), and are used in 63% of m-commerce transactions(7).

Where does Turkey import from the most?

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Turkey’s leading import partners in 2021 (by share)8

DOING BUSINESS IN TURKEY: CONSUMER TRENDS

Where do consumers in Turkey shop online?

Online marketplaces can be a helpful gateway for cross-border businesses wishing to sell to a new country for the first time.

Leading marketplaces in Turkey, Sept-Nov 2023 (by traffic share)9

  • trendyol.com: 37.4%
  • hepsiburada.com: 22.7%
  • amazon.com: 11.4%
  • pttavm.com: 2.8%
  • aliexpress.com: 2.4%

 

What are they buying?

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Most popular consumer goods categories for online purchases in Turkey, 202210

How do Turkish consumers like to pay for their online purchases?

After all, e-commerce shoppers are more likely to abandon their carts if they cannot pay using their preferred payment method. 

graphic image of statistics

Distribution of payment methods for online transactions in Turkey in 202211

Leading shopping holidays in Turkey  

graphic image of shopping activities

Be sure to add these dates to your marketing and sales calendar so your business can prepare and cash in!

Eid Al Fitr, April

This Muslim holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. During Eid celebrations, people share food and gifts with loved ones.

Mother’s Day, May

A time for people to celebrate their mothers with gifts of chocolate, flowers and perfume.

Father’s Day, June

Don’t forget the dads! They get their own day in June to be spoiled by their children.

Awaited/Smiling Friday: end of November

More commonly known as Black Friday across the world, retailers in Turkey have renamed the event to avoid negative connotations for a day sacred to Muslims. During the four-day shopping holiday, online stores offer significant discounts.

EXPORTING TO TURKEY: CUSTOMS ADVICE

Required documentation

When shipping internationally, there are several pieces of documentation commonly required to clear your goods through customs smoothly and help authorities determine what import taxes and duties are due:

  • Commercial Invoice
  • Bill of Lading
  • Air Waybill
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Export and Import Licenses
  • Export Packing List
  • Insurance Certificate

This dedicated guide goes into detail on each document, including what information you’ll need to complete it.  

Customs clearance

In May 2022, Turkish authorities reduced the value threshold for simplified customs clearance on behalf of individuals (B2C imports) from 30 kg, €1500 to 30 kg, €150 (medicines/drugs excluded).

For shipments under €150, a tax rate of 18% for EU member countries and 30% for non-EU countries will be applied. For shipments over €150, broker clearance is required.

Prohibited and restricted commodities

graphic image of barrels

Several commodities are not permitted for shipment by DHL under any circumstances, following full consideration by the operational, legal and risk management teams. They include animals, hazardous or combustible materials, and illegal narcotics. The full list can be found here.

Shipping costs

Unless exempt, all imported commercial goods are subject to customs duties and taxes based on their Harmonized System (HS) Code tariff classification. Generally speaking, it is the Importer of Record (i.e. either your business or your logistics carrier) who will pay the import duty and tax. 

You can find the correct HS code for your shipment easily via DHL’s MyGTS – a free, user-friendly platform that will help you navigate all aspects of international shipping. This includes calculation of Landed Cost for goods in any country – that is your product cost, duties & taxes, and freight charges – to enhance your pricing strategy and give your customers transparency over shipping fees.

Useful resources  

 

DHL’S expert tips for exporting to Turkey

graphic of DHL logistics activities

  • Consider shipping your goods as Duties & Taxes Paid (DTP). Whilst the payment of duties and taxes on international shipments is typically the responsibility of the receiver – i.e., your customer – DHL does offer a DTP service to account holders. This means DHL will invoice the shipper (your business) to cover the costs. The benefit of this is the end customer will not receive an unexpected tax bill when their package arrives at customs – which may damage their opinion of your brand.
  • Turkish consumers have come to expect free returns as standard. Offering this service will help your business gain a competitive edge!

Thinking of exporting to Turkey?

You’re in the right place! We know that the above guidelines may seem a little overwhelming, but that’s where partnering with DHL will pay off. As international shipping experts, we’ll support you through all customs procedures so that your shipment avoids delays. Sell to the world with DHL!

Start your journey here