The Free Trade Agreement concluded with Turkey was the first among EFTA’s network of Free Trade Agreements. The Agreement between the EFTA States and Turkey was signed in Geneva, Switzerland, on 10 December 1991
A modernised and expanded Free Trade Agreement was signed in Sauðárkrókur, Iceland, on 25 June 2018. This new Agreement will enter into force and replace the existing one upon ratification by the EFTA States and Turkey. Information on the new Agreement can be found far below on this page.
The Agreement covers trade in industrial products as well as fish and marine products and processed agricultural products. The transitional period ended on 1 January 1999. In addition, bilateral agricultural agreements between the individual EFTA countries and Turkey have been concluded which form part of the instruments creating the free trade area.
The objectives of the Agreement (Article 1) are among other to promote, through the expansion of reciprocal trade, the harmonious development of economic relations between the Parties. The Agreement includes provisions relating to the elimination of customs duties and other trade barriers as well as other trade-related disciplines such as rules of competition, protection of intellectual property, public procurement, state monopolies, state aid, and payments and transfers. A Joint Committee, which supervises the Agreement, is established under the Agreement.
The Agreement consists of a total of 35 Articles, 11 Annexes, 3 Protocols, and one Record of Understandings, covering the following subjects:
- Trade in Goods
- Public Procurement
- Intellectual Property
- State Aid
- Joint Committee and Dispute Settlement
Trade in Goods
Turkey is one of the most important partner countries among EFTA’s 20 free trade partners and an important market for EFTA’s exports, with significant growth potential.
Bilateral trade in goods in 2001 amounted to 1,307.3 million USD (EFTA exports amounting to 920 million USD, whereas Turkey's exports to the EFTA States represented 382.3 million USD.
Rules of Origin
The rules of origin for industrial goods (Protocol B) concerning the definition of the concept of originating products and the methods for administrative co-operation, are based on the current pan-European model, maintaining the general structure and the substance of the European standard rules. The specific list rules (Annex II to Protocol B) are also based on the current pan-European model.
The Agreement provides for effective market access for industrial goods in terms of tariffs and rules of origin, creating EFTA and EU parity for EFTA exports to Turkey. Since 1 January 1999 all industrial goods - except certain products of the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) - originating in the EFTA States have enjoyed duty-free access into Turkey. Industrial goods originating in Turkey have benefited from duty-free access to the EFTA States as of entry into force of the Agreement.
Fish and marine products
The Agreement covers trade in all fish and other marine products (Article 4 and Annex II). The EFTA States and Turkey grant each other duty free access on imports of all fish and marine products.
Trade in processed agricultural products are covered in a Protocol under the main Agreement (Protocol A). The Protocol grants concessions for products such as sugar confectionary, pasta, prepared foods, sauces and preparations, soups, waters etc.
Trade in basic agricultural products is covered in three bilateral agricultural agreements negotiated between the respective EFTA State Iceland, Norway and Switzerland/Liechtenstein and Turkey. These agreements form part of the instruments establishing the free trade area. They provide for substantial concessions on both sides, while taking into account the respective sensitivities. Each agreement contains specific rules of origin, generally based on the “wholly-obtained” criteria.
The Article on public procurement (Article 14) contains a review clause with a view to further liberalize the public procurement markets of the Parties.
The provisions on protection of intellectual property rights (Article 15 and a new Annex XII) covers, inter alia, patents, trademarks and copyright and geographical indications.
The level of protection in certain areas goes beyond what is stipulated under the WTO Agreement on Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property, taking into account the principles of most favoured nation treatment and of national treatment.
Regarding competition (Article 17), the Agreement includes provisions on co-operation and exchange of information in the Joint Committee meeting with the aim of ensuring that the benefits of the Agreement are not perturbed by private anti- competitive behaviour.
The Agreement contains comprehensive and specific rules governing the granting of state aid by public authorities of the partner countries (Article 18 and Annex X). The objective of these provisions is to ensure that aid granted by the authorities to private entities do not distort, or threaten to distort, competition among undertakings in the applicable territories of the agreement. The Parties shall ensure transparency of state aid measures by exchanging information as provided for in Annex XI (Annex XI).
Joint Committee and Dispute Settlement
A Joint Committee comprising the EFTA States and Turkey supervises the implementation of the free trade agreement (Articles 25 and 26).
Consultations are the fundamental mechanism of dispute settlement between the FTA partners. The agreement implies that the Parties are to endeavour to solve any differences between them on the interpretation and application of the agreement by direct consultations, and, if need be, through consultations in the Joint Committee.
|Decision||Subject||Adopted||Entry into force|
|No. 1/2017||Amendment to Protocol B||06.04.2017|
|No. 3/2009||Mutual Recognition of Conformity Assessment of Products||03.12.2009||05.07.2011|
|No. 2/2009||Amendment to Protocol B||03.12.2009||01.06.2011|
|No. 1/2009||Amendment to Protocol A||03.12.2009||01.06.2011|
|No. 3/2006||Protocol B Amendment to Euro-med||31.05.2006||01.09.2007|
|No. 2/2006||Protocol A||31.05.2006||01.02.2008|
|No. 1/2006||Annex I||31.05.2006||01.02.2008|
|No. 1/2005||Article 18 State Aid||15.05.2005||15.08.2011|
|No. 2/2004||Deletion of Annex VIII||01.07.2004||01.07.2004|
|No. 1/2004||Deletion of Annex IV||01.07.2004||01.07.2004|
|No. 3/2002||Amendment to Protocol A||05.11.2002||01.01.2003|
|No. 2/2002||Annex II||05.11.2002||01.01.2003|
|No. 1/2002||Amendments to Protocol B||05.11.2002||01.01.2003|
|No. 1/2001||Amendment to Protocol A||14.06.2001||01.07.2001|
|No. 4/2000||Introduction of a new Protocol D||16.11.2000||09.02.2004|
|No. 3/2000||Amendment to Annex II||16.11.2000||16.11.2000|
|No. 2/2000||Amendments to Annex I||16.11.2000||01.01.2001|
|No. 1/2000||Amendments to Protocol B||16.11.2000||01.01.2001|
|No. 1/1999||Amendments to Protocol B||28.09.1999||01.01.2000|
|No. 9/1998||Deletion of Annex VI (Customs duties of a fiscal nature)||01.07.1998||01.07.1998|
|No. 8/1998||Deletion of Annex V||01.07.1998||01.01.1999|
|No. 7/1998||Amendment to Annex IV (deleted by Decision No. 1/2004)||01.07.1998||01.01.1999|
|No. 6/1998||Amendment to Protocol B||01.07.1998||01.02.2000|
|No. 5/1998||Amendment to Annex I||01.07.1998||01.07.1998|
|No. 4/1998||Amendment to Article 15 and new Annex XII on Protection of Intellectual Property||04.02.1998||19.12.2002|
|No. 3/1998||Amendment of Article 10 and deletion of Annex IX concerning Technical Regulations||04.02.1998||19.12.2002|
|No. 2/1998||Amendment to Annex VIII (deleted by Decision No. 2/2004)||04.02.1998||04.02.1998|
|No. 1/1998||Deletion of Annex III||04.02.1998||04.02.1998|
|No. 4/1996||Amendment to Article 35 concerning the depositary of the Agreement||18/19.04.1996||19.12.2002|
|No. 3/1996||Amendment to Annex VIII (deleted by Decision No. 2/2004)||18/19.04.1996||19.04.1996|
|No. 2/1996||Deletion of Annex VII||18/19.04.1996||19.04.1996|
|No. 1/1996||Amendment to Annex VI (deleted by Decision No. 9/1998)||18/19.04.1996||19.04.1996|
|No. 2/1993||Amendments to, and corrections of technical errors in Annexes and Protocols to the Agreement||22/23.11.1993||23.11.1993|
|No. 1/1993||State Aid - Rules for the implementation of Article 18, para. 4||22/23.11.1993||23.11.1993|
|No. 4/1992||Amendment to Annex II on fish and other marine products||19.11.1992||19.11.1992|
|No. 3/1992||Amendments to, and corrections of technical errors in Annexes and Protocols to the Agreement||19.11.1992||19.11.1992|
|No. 2/1992||Establishment of a Sub-Committee on customs and origin matters||19.11.1992||19.11.1992|
|No. 1/1992||Rules of Procedure of the Joint Committee||19.11.1992||19.11.1992|
A modernised and expanded Free Trade Agreement was signed in Sauðárkrókur, Iceland, on 25 June 2018. This new Agreement will enter into force and replace the existing one upon ratification by the EFTA States and Turkey.
At the 11th meeting of the Joint Committee under the existing EFTA-Turkey FTA, held on 19 June 2014 in Ankara, both sides agreed on the scope and process for further developing the Agreement. The negotiations for the modernisation and expansion of the existing Agreement started in September 2014 and were concluded in November 2017 in six rounds.
The modernised EFTA-Turkey FTA was signed on 25 June 2018 and covers trade in goods (industrial products as well as fish and marine products and processed agricultural products), trade in services, the protection of intellectual property rights, government procurement, competition, and trade and sustainable development. In addition, updated bilateral agricultural agreements between the individual EFTA countries and Turkey continue to form part of the instruments creating the free trade area.
Content of the Agreement
The Agreement consists of 10 Chapters and 21 Annexes, covering the following main subjects:
- Trade in Goods including Rules of Origin, Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Technical Barriers to Trade and Trade Remedies
- Trade in Services
- Protection of Intellectual Property
- Government Procurement
- Trade and Sustainable Development
- Institutional Provisions
- Dispute Settlement
Trade in Goods
The Agreements provides for the abolishment of all customs duties on imports and exports of industrial products, including fish and other marine products, originating in an EFTA State or in Turkey. Already under the existing Agreement, all industrial products originating in the EFTA States enjoy duty-free access into Turkey since 1 January 1999. Industrial products originating in Turkey have benefited from duty-free access to the EFTA States as of entry into force of the existing Agreement on 1 April 1992.
The Agreement provides for tariff concessions on processed agricultural products, as covered by Annex III. Trade in basic agricultural products is covered in three bilateral agricultural agreements negotiated between the respective EFTA State Iceland, Norway and Switzerland/Liechtenstein and Turkey. While the bilateral agriculture agreements between Norway and Turkey, as well as Iceland and Turkey will remain in force, the bilateral agriculture agreement between Switzerland and Turkey was also modernised and will replace the existing bilateral agriculture agreement upon into force of the modernised EFTA-Turkey FTA. These bilateral agriculture agreements form part of the instruments establishing the free trade area. They provide for substantial concessions on both sides, while taking into account the respective sensitivities.
The rules of origin (Annex I) are governed by the Regional Convention on Pan-Euro-Mediterranean rules of origin. This allows for accumulation of materials originating in the EFTA States, Turkey and the other “Pan-Euro-Med” member countries once the respective agreements are in place between the parties concerned.
The Agreement contains detailed provisions on trade facilitation (Annex VI), including some “WTO +” provisions. Furthermore, it includes provisions on sanitary and phytosanitary measures (article 2.11), technical regulations (article 2.12) and trade remedies (articles 2.17-2.19) in conformity with the relevant WTO Agreements.
Trade in Services
Chapter 3 closely follows the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) approach. It covers trade in all services sectors under all four modes of supply. Separate annexes on recognition of qualifications of service suppliers (Annex X), movement of natural persons supplying services (Annex XI), electronic commerce (Annex XIII), telecommunication services (Annex XVI), co-productions (Annex XV), financial services (Annex XVI), health services (Annex XVII), tourism and travel services (Annex XVII) and international road transport and logistics services (Annex XIX) complement the chapter with additional disciplines specific to those sectors. The Parties’ lists of specific commitments and exemptions from most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment are contained in Annexes XII and IX, respectively. Those lists shall be reviewed periodically with the aim to further liberalise trade in services between both sides.
Intellectual property rights
The provisions on protection of intellectual property rights (Chapter 4 and Annex XX) cover, inter alia, trademarks, copyrights, patents and geographical indications, and include provisions for the enforcement of intellectual property rights and cooperation among the Parties. They are based on the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and provide for a high level of protection, taking into account the principles of most-favoured-nation treatment and of national treatment.
The Agreement also includes provisions on public procurement (chapter 5) aiming in particular at ensuring transparency, as well as including a review clause.
In chapter 6, the Parties recognise that anti-competitive business practices have the potential to undermine the benefits of liberalisation arising from the Agreement. They highlight the importance of cooperation and consultations regarding issues relating to competition law enforcement. Furthermore, the chapter provides the Parties with the possibility to take appropriate measures if an anti-competitive practice continues to affect trade, despite previous cooperation and consultation. Priority shall be given to such measures that will least disturb the functioning of this Agreement.
Trade and Sustainable Development
The Parties recognise that economic development, social development and environmental protection are interdependent. In chapter 7 they reaffirm their commitment to multilateral environmental and labour agreements and principles and undertake to uphold levels of protection while recognising the right of each Party to establish its own level of environmental and labour protection. Arbitration procedures do not apply to this chapter.
Institutional provisions and dispute settlements
Chapter 8 establishes a Joint Committee to supervise and administer the Agreement and to oversee its further development. The Joint Committee, which normally meets every two years, may modify the Agreement or consider and propose amendments, as provided for in the Agreement. Chapter 9 sets out the rules and procedures applying with respect to the avoidance or settlement of any disputes that may arise between Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the Agreement.
Free Trade Agreement 2018
|Table of Contents|
|EFTA-Turkey Free Trade Agreement 2018|
|Trade in Goods||Annex I|
|Annex IX||List of MFN Exemptions||Appendix 1: Iceland|
|Appendix 2: Liechtenstein|
|Appendix 3: Norway|
|Appendix 4: Switzerland|
|Appendix 5: Turkey|
|Trade in Services||Annex X|
|Annex XII||Schedules of Specific Commitments||Appendix 1: Iceland|
|Appendix 2: Liechtenstein|
|Appendix 3: Norway|
|Appendix 4: Switzerland|
|Appendix 5: Turkey|
|Protection of Intellectual Property||Annex XX|
|Institutional Provisions||Annex XXI|
Bilateral Agreements on Agriculture