Following on from a recent enquiry we received from an individual who was hoping to drive their own personal effects into Turkey through a Turkish seaport, we thought we’d put together an article covering what is and is not permissible and possible when it comes to importing your household goods into Turkey for your new life there.
However, even before we begin we need to put a sort of disclaimer in to the mix! You see, despite what is written and stated on the Turkish government websites, there are always situations you encounter that come out of left field! You may happen upon a particularly friendly or busy customs official who doesn’t check your goods and you can get away without paying tax due on imported electrical items for example…
At the same time, you may come across an official who is being watched by a superior and therefore has to do the most thorough job ever – which can be upsetting, time consuming and expensive for you! So, we offer up this guide to importing personal effects into Turkey as a loose document to guide your packing and planning – and really, we would urge you to use a professional removal company with experience of navigating the complexities of import and export on a global scale!
If you are moving to live, work or retire to a property you have bought in Turkey and you are not a Turkish citizen, the following is believed to be as accurate as possible…
Your used household goods and personal effects are permitted for import if they are for your own use, and they must arrive no more than two months before or six months after your passport is stamped for entry into Turkey.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of documents that you may need to present at customs to allow your goods to be cleared, depending on your circumstances (e.g.., whether you’re moving in to take up permanent residence, whether you’re relocating to Turkey for employment…): -
1. Your passport (and potentially your partner and dependents’ passports (with valid entry stamps))
2. Residence Visa or Residence Permit
4. Work Permit (if applicable)
5. Application Letter (if you are in the process of applying for residence or employment visas)
6. Inventory/ Bill of Lading (showing brand name and serial numbers of electrical appliances and complete and detailed list of all items being shipped)
7. Potentially a Letter of Guarantee from your Turkish employer
8. Letter authorising the removal company agent in Turkey to clear the shipment if you’re not attending in person
For your own sake and that of your removal agent, don’t include the following in your shipment as they are considered to be restricted items: -
1) Food stuff
3) Tobacco products
5) Fax machines and telecommunications/satellite equipment is also restricted
Note also that if you’re importing used electronic items they should not be in their original packing – even though you may have carefully saved it for future shipping purposes – because customs may well decide it’s brand new and that tax is payable on it.
Furthermore the amount and number of electronic items and equipment that you have needs to be ‘realistic’ for the number of people moving in, otherwise it may look like you’re importing to sell.
1. Anything that may constitute a weapon and/or ammunition
2. Drugs and narcotics
3. Explosive items!
Importing Live Animals
Turkey is not part of the PETS travel scheme, meaning that if you take your cats and dogs and ferrets to Turkey, they will have to go through 6 months quarantine on the way back into the UK. There is no legal way around this. In terms of getting them in to Turkey – it’s not difficult usually!
There is a restriction on a person only bringing 1 dog, 1 cat and so on – but if there are more human members of your party, an animal can be attributed to each one if you have a friendly customs official. If you are concerned, take legal advice. Your animal will need to have been vaccinated against rabies not more than 6 months before travel and not less than 15 days before travel, you need a health certificate from your vet that is not more than 10 days old and you should take records showing your animal is up to date with regular jabs and worming treatments.
Finally, a good resource is the Turkish Embassy in London – and there are plenty of British and English forums on the Internet all about moving to live as an expat in Turkey. Check out the threads and join up and ask any questions that you have of the seasoned expats who have been there and done it all before!
Wed, February 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Hello. I am seeking information for the amount of money I have to considered paied for shipping my personal belongings to Liman/Antalya, in customs fee.
I am a sigle woman. Having an appartment in Uncali/Antalya, and where I am living a lot, due to my health issues (I am 100% disabled from Norway for the past 22 years)
I am not changing my address to be living permanently in Turkey - but I have doctors statements of the visable approvement in my health situation, staying in Turkey.
I am a cronic pain patient, amount other things.
I need to stay in Turkey - and am planning to ship my things in a container.
Do you have any advice for me - how to do things. And what NOT to do?