The European Commission has announced that an authorised Turkish customs officer’s signature is necessary for the validity of A.TR, EUR.1 and EUR-MED certificates in relation to the imports of goods from Turkey in the EU. This is particularly important for certificates issued as of 24 April 2018. Since that date, A.TR, EUR.1 and EUR-MED certificates have been issued digitally and, as such, do not necessarily contain an authorised customs officer’s signature.
These incomplete certificates cannot be used as evidence for applying a preferential tariff treatment (i.e. lower duty rates) upon importation into the EU.
Turkey and the European Union have concluded a Customs Union agreement and a free trade agreement, which grants reduced or zero customs duty rates for various types of goods.
Different kinds of certificates are available that can enable preferential tariff treatments, namely, A.TR, EUR.1 and EUR-MED certificates.
Since 24 April 2018, Turkey has introduced a new electronic system for the issuance procedure of A.TR, EUR.1 and EUR-MED certificates. The certificates can be issued digitally without the signature of an authorised Turkish customs officer.
In agreement with the EU Member States, the European Commission has announced that for such a certificate to be valid, a valid signature is an essential element. As such, issued certificates that are not signed by a Turkish customs officer will not be sufficient to enable preferential tariff treatment.
Please note that the above does not apply if a Turkish Authorisation Approved Exporter has issued the certificate with an approved stamp of the Approved Exporter.
If you import goods from Turkey and you are applying for preferential tariff treatment, make sure that a Turkish Customs officer has signed the certificate issued to you. This applies for A.TR, EUR.1 and EUR-MED certificates issued by the Turkish authorities.
If an issued certificate does not have a signature, it is advisable to return the certificate and request that it be signed properly or request a new signed certificate.