Turkey: Latest Practices In Solar (Photovoltaic) Panel Imports

Last Updated: 21 March 2016
Article by Gamze Döşeyen, Alper Utaş and Can Musa Varol

Most Popular Article in Turkey, March 2016

New regulations within scope of the Communiqué No. 2015/9 on Implementation of Import Surveillance (published in the Official Gazette dated November 19, 2015 and numbered 29537) ("Communiqué") in respect to surveillance measures in solar panel imports are examined within our current information note. 

The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Turkey has initiated a surveillance measure for the goods with the HS Code (Harmonized System Code) 8541. as defined in the table below in respect to the solar (photovoltaic - PV) panel imports.  The Communiqué's entry into force has been decided as 30th day from the date of promulgation. Accordingly, the Communiqué is in force since December 19, 2015.


Definition of the Type of Goods

Customs Value per Unit (USD/Net Kg)


Solar cells (merged as a module or arranged over boards or otherwise) (only solar panels)


With the Communiqué, the goods defined therein as "Solar cells (merged as a module or arranged over boards or otherwise) (only solar panels)", which we will name as "Solar Panels" hereinafter, can only be imported to Turkey through obtainment of the "Surveillance Certificate" issued by the Ministry of Economy or through taxation (i.e. 18% VAT) over a customs value per unit of USD 35/kilogram if no such certificate is obtained.

The documentation required for obtainment of a Surveillance Certificate is provided under the annexes of the Communiqué. When such documentation is checked, it can be noted that obtaining a Surveillance Certificate is quite challenging; even close to impossible. Furthermore, what is requested from those who want to obtain a Surveillance Certificate is almost reaching up to the level of commercial secrets (e.g., product cost per unit, labour costs, detailed information on financial indicators of the manufacturing firm, etc.).  

Considering that the solar panels were imported to Turkey for USD 10/kilogram or lesser amounts before the implementation of the surveillance measure,  the amount of extra tax burden may very clearly be observed.

As a basic and clear example; hypothetically speaking, a solar panel type whose customs price has been USD 4/kilogram before the measure is now have to be priced over USD 35/kilogram after the Communiqué. Previously, a 25 kilogram solar panel bought for USD 100 (25 kg x USD 4=USD 100) would have been subject to a 18% VAT payment and the total panel cost would then be USD 118 (USD 100+18% VAT). However now, subsequent to the Communiqué, the importer would have to pay 18% VAT over an increased unit price calculation (e.g. 25 kg x USD 35 = USD 875), causing an extreme rise in the VAT. In this scenario, the 18% VAT is to be calculated over USD 875, amounting to USD 157.5 and the total cost would rise up to USD 257.5 (actual price of USD 100 + 18% "inflated" VAT amount of USD 157.5).  The sector representatives also indicate that this practice would raise the prices over 100% at the end. However, those who have an investment promotion certificate under the scope of State Aids in Investments (Council of Ministers decision no. 2012/3305, published in the Official Gazette dated June 19, 2012 and numbered 28328) would be able to overcome the effects of the Communiqué due to the VAT exemption provided under Article 13(d) of the Law on Value Added Tax (Law No. 3065, published in the Official Gazette dated December 15, 1984 and numbered 18563) to the extent of the capacities inscribed on the promotion certificate. In line with the abovementioned, such taxation practices will be applicable from standpoint of the importers who do not own an investment promotion certificate or a Surveillance Certificate.

Should the importer want to take solar panels into Turkey for a unit amount below USD 35, then he/she/it has to obtain a Surveillance Certificate as set forth under the Communiqué. General properties of a Surveillance Certificate are as below:

  • As per Article 6 of the Communiqué, its validity is 6 months.
  • Surveillance does not affect application of general provisions of the Customs Law (Law No. 4458, published in the Official Gazette dated November 4, 1999 and numbered 23866) on customs value of the goods.
  • If the values or amounts determined and accepted by the customs during the registration of the customs declaration differs from the total values or amounts inscribed under the Surveillance Certificate by 5% (five percent) at the most, this would not bar the import.
  • Surveillance Certificate cannot be transferred to third parties.
  • Surveillance Certificate shall be obtained per each customs declaration. In other words, for each import connection this certificate shall be obtained. However, for the goods declared under the same declaration which will be coming in various shipments, a single Surveillance Certificate will suffice. 

In consideration of the general international trade practices, it is thought that such surveillance measures may be followed by anti-dumping measures.

Assessment and Result: Implementation of the Communiqué will be bringing a serious tax burden in respect to the solar panels to be imported to Turkey.  Turkey is having numerous issues with creating product lines in local solar panel manufacturing and providing technological progress. In light of this, such measures would be expected to create a slowdown in solar energy sector and restrict its growth. By these measures, the public authority, which actually tries to promote investment on one hand, is now creating a serious obstacle for the investors on the other hand.  Furthermore, it is indicated by the sector representatives that the relations with the European Union as well as international economic agreements have not been taken under sufficient consideration. We believe that promoting manufacturing and R&D (research & development) would be a much more efficient and competition-friendly idea for promoting the local manufacturing instead of establishing additional taxes for imports with a view to promote local manufacturing. 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.