Association Activities

Association Activities

Since its establishment in 2010, our association has been contributing to the development of the sector by organizing numerous activities in the public domain to address the industry's challenges and issues.

We have actively followed up on the matters raised during meetings with relevant institutions and the progress of written applications, with the aim of keeping our members informed about the developments.

Here, we would like to share and remind you of the significant activities we have undertaken.

  • Sectoral Information Meeting

    April 19, 2019 - Istanbul Divan Hotel

    On April 19, 2019, a Sectoral Information Meeting was held at the Istanbul Divan Hotel.

    Representatives from the Ministry of Customs and Trade were present at the meeting, including:

    • Deputy Minister Mr. Rıza Tuna Turagay,
    • Director-General of Customs, Mr. Mustafa Gümüş,
    • Deputy Director-General of Customs, Mr. Burak Serkan Yaşar,
    • Head of Warehouses and Free Zones Department, Mr. Nevzat Bozkurt,
    • Istanbul Customs and Trade Regional Director, Mr. Mehmet Hatipoğlu,
    • Experts from the Warehouses and Free Zones Department, Mr. Hakan Diren Polatsoy and Ms. Naime Elvan Arıkan,
    • Members of our association's Board of Directors and Members.

    During the meeting, the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Ustün Özbey, delivered a presentation discussing the historical development of the sector and the current risks it is facing.

    Deputy Minister Mr. Rıza Tuna Turagay addressed our members, expressing their awareness of the contributions made by the sector and their commitment to supporting its activities. He positively acknowledged our request to establish a joint working group and gave instructions to initiate the process. Mr. Deputy Minister then proceeded to answer questions from our members before concluding his speech.

    In the final segment, Mr. Nevzat Bozkurt shared information and statistics related to our sector from their records and provided insights into the electronic processing of certain operations they are planning.

  • Joint Working Group

    July 11, 2019 - General Directorate of Customs

    Following this meeting, upon the instruction and approval of Mr. Mustafa Gümüş, the Director-General of Customs, a Joint Working Group was established, and its first meeting was held on July 11, 2019, at the General Directorate of Customs in Ankara.

    The Joint Working Group was composed of the following members:

    Nevzat Bozkurt Ministry Department Head Hakan Diren Polatsoy Ministry Expert Naime Elvan Arıkan Ministry Expert Orhan Giray Association General Secretary Seyfettin İnceoğlu Association Member, ATU İlker Harmankaya Association Member, Unifree Tolga Ilgaz Association Member, Dufry Fatih Mustafa Balta Association Member, Setur Mehmet Akif Keskiner Association Member, GTİ

    After this date, the Joint Working Group continued to convene on various occasions, developing recommendations for solving numerous issues and contributing to their submission to higher authorities.

  • On August 22, 2019, a visit was made to Mr. Erdal Karahisar, the Head of the Exemptions Department at the General Directorate of Customs. During the visit, a presentation was delivered to Mr. Karahisar and his team regarding the update of the Personal Belongings List.

  • ETRC Board of Directors and Advisory Board Meetings

    November 15, 2019 - Istanbul Divan Hotel

    On November 15, 2019, the ETRC Board of Directors and Advisory Board meetings were hosted by our association at the Istanbul Divan Hotel

    The Advisory Board meeting was attended by members of our association's Board of Directors. In the final segment of the meeting, Mr. Mustafa Gümüş, the Director-General of Customs, joined and delivered a presentation on the general regulations related to our sector in Turkey.

    These meetings served as a significant gathering for all national and international stakeholders of our sector.

  • Under pandemic conditions, we continued our activities and conducted Working Group and Board of Directors meetings in a virtual environment.

  • On September 17, 2021, during the online Board of Directors meeting, we were pleased to welcome Ms. Jennifer Cords, the Corporate Relations Director of Heinemann company. There was an exchange of information regarding sector-related developments in Europe and worldwide, as well as the impacts of the pandemic.

  • On November 11, 2021, the 2nd Working Group meeting was held at the General Directorate of Customs in Ankara. During the meeting, the issues and challenges faced by the sector were discussed, and evaluations were made to address these concerns.

  • We successfully held the 3rd edition of our extended Working Group meeting, which had to be postponed due to the pandemic, from May 26th to May 29th, 2022, in Antalya. The meeting was attended by Mr. Mustafa Gümüş, the Director-General of Customs, along with his deputies Mr. Nevzat Bozkurt and Mr. Erdal Karahisar, as well as Department Heads and Trade Experts. Our Board of Directors and the association's working group participated in these meetings as well.

  • Our association working group meetings are held every second Wednesday of each month, from 14:00 to 15:00. During these meetings, we assess the current agenda items and determine our action plan. We encourage our member colleagues to actively participate in these meetings or share their comments, questions, and topics they wish to address via the email address

  • On December 12, 2022, the Chairman of the association, Mr. Cüneyt Çilingiroğlu, Vice President Mr. Ömür Gebeş, and General Secretary Mr. Orhan Giray, held a meeting in Ankara with the Director-General of Customs, his deputies, and some department heads.

    During the meeting, the revision of the information technology system aimed at controlling sales limits was discussed. It was agreed that the necessary legal infrastructure for the project to be carried out by the association should be established by the General Directorate of Customs.

    Furthermore, the meeting also addressed the sector's expectations regarding changes in legislation.

  • In line with the agenda of our Working Group and with the support of our Board of Directors, a meeting was held with Ms. Meriç Kelleci, the Head of the Customs Procedures Facilitation Branch, and Mr. Nevzat Bozkurt, the Deputy Director-General of Customs, on March 16, 2023, in Ankara, regarding the granting of the Authorized Economic Operator status to Duty-Free Stores Operators who meet the required conditions.

    To be eligible for this status, it was assessed that both the facilitation of customs procedures and certain additions to the Duty-Free Stores Regulations are necessary. To initiate this process, we submitted our application with our association's letter dated March 23, 2023.