Regional Office for Capacity Building for the World Customs Organization Europe Region

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In 2020, entry and exit of 3.4 million commercial vehicles took place at Turkey's land border. The Minister of Trade Ruhsar Pekcan said: "The border point through which the most number of commercial vehicles crossed is Habur Customs Gate vehicles with Iraq totaling 1 million 90 thousand, while Kapıkule with 704 thousand vehicles and Sarp Customs Gate with 315 thousand vehicles followed”.

In a statement to the AA correspondent, Ms. Pekcan stated that serious measures have been taken in the fight against the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, especially since March, such as the closure or restriction of border crossings around the world that brought a significant challenge to the realization of international goods shipments.

As Turkey reacting very rapidly to the situation; explaining that contactless trade practice was implemented at Habur, Kapıkule and Kapıköy customs gates and Ro-Ro ports, Ms. Pekcan stated that thanks to the measures taken quickly, shipment flows close to the pre-epidemic periods was ensured.

Pekcan pointed out that despite the pandemic, they achieved many successes and records in foreign trade in 2020, and noted that due to the measures taken, there were passenger decreases in crossings at the border gates, and commercial vehicle transitions continued uninterrupted thanks to the contactless trade and digital applications they implemented in the first months of the epidemic.


"3.4 million commercial vehicles crossed the border gates"

Noting that 30 land, 8 rail, 101 sea and 64 air for a total of 203 of border gates in Turkey, Ms. Pekcan said that a total of 151 customs directorates had been working with free zone and internal customs administrations.

Ms. Pekcan also pointed out that, with a proactive approach, the entry and exit operations of commercial vehicles are carried out in the buffer zone through the exchange of containers, trailers and drivers, and used the following statements:

"At Habur Customs Gate, from 1 March 2020 when the contactless trade application was activated and the date of the termination of the said application on 21 August 2020, average of 1337 commercial vehicles were entered, and 1210 commercial vehicles were exited daily. In 2019, this number was 1615, on the exit direction, it was 1637. Between 22 March and 27 April 2020, when the contactless trade application was activated at Kapıkule Customs Gate, an average of 727 commercial vehicles entered and 657 commercial vehicles were exited daily. In 2019, these numbers were 1021 on the entrance direction and 1033 vehicles on the exit direction. In this way, an increase in shipment was achieved in Habur and Kapıkule, close to pre-pandemic periods. "

Minister Pekcan stated that the shipments are directed to the railway due to the lack of buffer zones at the customs gates opening to Iran and stated that the contactless trade practice is applied at Kapıköy Railway Customs Gate.

Explaining that the wagons were pushed and pulled mutually by locomotives in this context, Pekcan said: 

"In Kapıköy, between March 4 and June 3, 2020, when the contactless trade application was put into use, an average of 33 wagons were entered and 41 wagons were exited per day. There has been a significant increase in the average number of wagons compared to before the pandemic. We want the railways to be used more actively in trade in the upcoming period.


Modernization works at customs gates

Pekcan emphasized that they continue to work effectively to increase the quality of the service, digitalization applications and national technology opportunities, as well as infrastructure investments at the customs gates, and stated that the renovation works at Kapıkule, Hamzabeyli, Öncüpınar, Karkamış, Çobanbey, Kapıköy, Sarp customs gates have been completed.

Explaining that the modernization works of Habur and İpsala customs gates will be completed in the first quarter of this year, Pekcan added that they will also start the construction works for the renewal of Gürbulak, Türkgözü and Pazarkule customs gates in the same period.


Source & full text: Turkish Trade Ministry