Along with the new prohibitions and inspections published as of 27 December 2020 regarding the import of wastes into Turkey, it is aimed to make our world more liveable by preventing environmental damage.

In 2021, new regulations and adjustments have been published in Turkey regarding the aforementioned wastes. As follows;

  • The principles and procedures regarding the wastes that would enter to Turkish Customs Zone, regulated in the Communiqué On Import Inspection of Wastes Kept Under Control in Terms of Environmental Protection, have been published in the Official Gazette on 31 December 2020 with numbered (Repeated) 31351 and entered into force on 1 January 2021. On 31 December 2020, the Directorate General of Environmental Impact Assessment Permit and Inspection by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation also issued the Circular numbered 2020/29 on Import of Waste, and this Circular entered into force on 1 January 2021.

Together with the new regulations, wastes, "Subject to Import Compliance Inspection," are listed and named under the code of GTIP (HS Code), thereby each waste can be imported to Turkey by Industrialists who have Recycling facilities that have received a "Temporary Certificate of Activity or Certificate of Environment and Permission" from Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, within the procedures and principles to be determined by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation.

According to the new regulations, it is aimed to prevent damage to the environment as per the "Basel Convention on Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal," to which Turkey is also a signing party, by inspecting the recycling and/or disposal conditions of wastes imported to Turkey.

  • In accordance with the Communiqué numbered 31537 on importation of waste which was published in the Official Gazette on 10 July 2021 and entered into force on the same date; with the Communiqué dated 31 December 2020 and numbered 31351 (4th Reiterated), the ban has been lifted regarding the wastes with GTIP code 3915. and described as "Those of Ethylene Polymers." However, the lifting of the abovementioned ban was criticized by Environment and Nature advocates.
  • The last legal regulation related to the Waste Import is the Waste Import Circular numbered 2021/16 published on 16 July 2021. This Circular includes the processes regarding the import of plastic wastes from ethylene polymers with GTIP 3915. The facilities that will import these plastic wastes;
    • Providing the technical conditions related to the facilities,
    • Renewal of waste importer registration documents,
    • They are required to make additional arrangements for waste import operations.

Plastic wastes mentioned in the Circular numbered 2021/16 are plastic wastes with 3915.10 GTIP, and these are allowed to be imported if it is one of the plastic wastes defined by the 12 01 05 GTIP (plastic chips and burrs), 15 01 02 (plastic packaging waste) and 20 01 39 (plastic wastes) specified in the Waste Management Regulation. This situation is explained in detail in the ANNEX-2 Plastic Waste Identification table of the circular.

The importers have to comply with the provisions of the Circular numbered 2020/29 published on 31 December 2020 and the Circular numbered 2021/9 published on 18 May 2021, along with the circular numbered 2021/16. In the circular numbered 2020/29, there are processes regarding the waste importer registration certificate and quota procedures. The Circular numbered 2021/9 includes requirements for the facilities importing plastic waste to renew their existing waste importer registration documents within the scope of this circular.

According to the regulations explained above, "Facilities with existing waste importer registration documents must apply for a new document within 45 days, letter of guarantee from the bank, transport with vehicles equipped mobile devices, entering waste data into MoTAT (Mobile Waste Tracking System), provide the information and documents in the Annex/1 list of the Circular numbered 2021/16 issued by Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.

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.