Turkey has imposed customs duties on textiles and garments from India and some other countries.
For Indian exporters, the imposition of the additional duties has resulted in a sharp increase in levies for textiles and garments from 8 per cent and 12 per cent to 28 per cent and 42 per cent respectively. This has been a big disincentive for Indian exporters to expand in the Turkish market.
There are reasons to believe Turkey might not have followed the prescribed criteria for imposition of safeguard duties as they are not applicable on all countries. The additional duties have not been imposed on EU members or Turkey’s free trade agreement partners. Hence they may be discriminatory.
India’s garment exports to Turkey declined from 650 million dollars in 2011-12 to 340 million dollars in 2016-17 while textile exports increased marginally from 330 million dollars to 430 million dollars in the same period.
During a conference in Brussels, in February 2016, European law firms made it clear that the Turkish additional duties on the imports of textile, apparel, and an increasing number of other products like carpets, rugs, bedding, leather bags, are illegal. These duties are in breach of WTO rules and, as far as Turkish imports of EU and Euro-Mediterranean products are concerned, they are also in breach of the EU-Turkey Customs Union.