ATR Certificate Explained
An ATR certificate is an essential customs document for trade between Türkiye and the EU, but is not a certificate of origin as commonly assumed. Find out how ATR documents really work in this article.
Understanding trade between Türkiye and the European Union
Türkiye is the European Union’s sixth-largest trading partner, representing 3.3% of all goods traded by the EU in 2022. The European Union is Türkiye’s main import and export partner, accounting for 26% of imports and 41% of exports in 2022.
There are two important trade agreements that facilitate this volume of movement between Türkiye and the European Union: the EU-Türkiye Customs Union, and the free trade agreement.
Both agreements allow the free movement of goods, but the legislation which applies to your trade depends on your goods classification. A simplified overview is:
- Steel, coal, and most agricultural goods are covered by the free trade agreement.
- Most other industrial goods are covered by the EU-Türkiye Customs Union.
Depending on which agreement applies to your goods, you will need a different certificate for proving preferential origin:
- Goods under the EU-Türkiye Customs Union can be moved on an ATR document.
- Steel, coal, and agricultural goods (that are covered by the free trade agreement) can be moved on an EUR1 certificate.
It is important to note that an ATR certificate is not proof of manufactured origin, but shows the goods are already in free circulation in the EU/ Türkiye customs union when presented during import clearance.
If it isn’t proof of origin, what is an ATR certificate?
Contrary to popular belief, an ATR certificate does not prove that your goods have originated in Türkiye. However, it does grant nil customs duties by confirming that your goods were already in free circulation in Türkiye (or the EU if you are exporting to Türkiye), so there is no import duty to be paid.
If the goods were not in free circulation or you do not have an ATR certificate, then the standard rules of origin apply, and you will need to pay the import duty as normal.
The UK is no longer in the EU. Can I use an ATR certificate when importing to the UK from Türkiye?
No. Since the UK left the European Union, you are no longer able to use an ATR document to claim a nil duty rate rate on goods from Türkiye in the UK. The UK rules of origin apply for most goods.
The UK has signed a trade deal with Türkiye that allows duty-free entry of goods of Turkish preferential origin. To claim this preference, you must have an origin statement on the paperwork which confirms your goods are of preferential origin.
Need advice on ATR documents or trading with Türkiye?
Customs Support provides import and export clearance services for businesses like yours throughout the EU and UK. Our customs consultants can help you to identify where you can save money by claiming preference, and where you can reduce your risk of noncompliance whilst doing so. For more information on ATR documents or trading with Türkiye, contact us today.