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The EU and Turkey are linked by a Customs Union agreement, which came in force on 31 December 1995.

Turkey has been a candidate country to join the European Union since 1999, and is a member of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.


Better Regulation Agenda

Enhancement of EU-Turkey bilateral trade relations and modernisation of the EU-Turkey Customs Union

Roadmaps or Inception Impact Assessments

Trade picture

  • The EU is Turkey's number one import and export partner while Turkey ranks 7th in the EU's top import and 5th in export markets.
  • Turkey's main exports markets are the EU, Iraq, Russia, USA, United Arab Emirates and Iran.
  • Turkey's exports to the EU are mostly machinery and transport equipment, followed by manufactured goods.
  • Imports into Turkey come from the following key markets: the EU, Russia, China, USA, Iran and South Korea.
  • EU exports to Turkey are dominated by machinery and transport material, chemical products and manufactured goods.

EU-Turkey: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2014-2016, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2014 54.4 74.7 20.3
2015 61.7 79.0 17.3
2016 66.7 78.0 11.4

EU-Turkey: Trade in services

Trade in services 2013-2015, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2013 15.3 10.4 -4.8
2014 15.9 10.9 -5.0
2015 16.4 12.2 -4.1

EU-Turkey: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2015, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2015 7.0 75.9 68.9

Date of retrieval: 15/02/2017

More statistics on Turkey

EU and Turkey

A Customs Union came into force on 31 December 1995. The Customs Union covers all industrial goods but does not address agriculture (except processed agricultural products), services or public procurement. Bilateral trade concessions apply to agricultural products.

In addition to providing for a common external tariff for the products covered, the Customs Union foresees that Turkey is to align to the acquis communautaire in several essential internal market areas, notably with regard to industrial standards.

Following the Commission's proposal on "extending and deepening" the Customs Union, in November 1996 the Council agreed to negotiating guidelines on the liberalisation of services and public procurement between the EU and Turkey. Negotiations were, however, suspended in 2002.

Turkey and Euromed

Turkey is member of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership (Euromed) and as such should conclude free trade agreements with all other Mediterranean partners, with a view to the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area.

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership promotes economic integration and democratic reform across 16 neighbours to the EU’s south in North Africa and the Middle East. One important part of this work is to achieve mutually satisfactory trading terms for the Euromed region's partners.

The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership is an essential component in the pursuit of greater economic integration in the Mediterranean region.

More information on the Euro-Mediterranean partnership

Trading with Turkey