Hayati Yazıcı, the Minister of State, who participated in the panel of International Customs Day, stated that they would show no mercy for anyone violating ethical rules in customs. On the other hand, Mehmet Büyükekşi, the Chairman of TIM, remarked that the automation and the production of effective services provided serious transformations. Hayati Yazıcı, the Minister of State Responsible for the Turkish Customs Administration, gave a speech in the panel entitled “Reconciliation Platform in Customs” held in İstanbul Chamber of Commerce on the occasion of International Customs Day, and he said that the World Customs Organization founded on January 26, 1953 consisted of 177 member countries and that Turkey was one of the most significant members of this organization. Yazıcı expressed that the World Customs Organization took numbers of decisions in order to create togetherness in the transaction processes of the customs administrations of different countries by means of comprehensive experiences, and to put the similar actions into practice, and he underlined that the member countries of this Organization must abide by its resolutions in foreign trade and that some countries had still certain reservations. Minister of State Yazıcı remarked that Turkish customs took important actions especially in recent years, and he also stated that they modernized 7 ports of entry out of 18 within the framework of build-operate-transfer model, that they put them at the disposal of the traders, and that they would modernize other ports as soon as possible.
Legal infrastructure has been mostly completed
Yazıcı expressed that the legal infrastructure of the Undersecretariat of Customs was mostly completed, and he stated: “The Customs has showed great progress in e-state application. The Customs is one of the leading public institutions in terms of the use of this application. Our objective was to use it much earlier; but we were a little late. Our goal is to maintain the transactions of the customs without manpower and papers. This goal was firstly realized in Ankara Customs of Semi-Truck Trailers on January 14. Today, all transactions in Ankara Customs of Semi-Truck Trailers are performed in an environment where there is no need for manpower or paper. I have put another application into practice in Esenboğa Airport. We pay great attention to our actions in this field and we plan to launch the application in April in İstanbul”. Hayati Yazıcı also remarked that they showed no tolerance towards the violations of ethical rules and he said:
“I show no mercy for anyone violating the ethical rules in the customs, no matter who they are; I have no tolerance in this issue. Our friends do not have same capabilities in terms of occupational skills, production and performance, and we can tolerate this divergence. They can unintentionally make mistakes, and these mistakes can also be tolerated. But I cannot show any tolerance to other issue. This last operation has effectively come to the fore. However, our operations are not limited to this one. We also carried out another important operation in August. We started the process in April. 21 people were arrested. Fictitious exportation…We started from Ambarlı together with customs enforcement team, and we performed simultaneous operations in a broad area extending to Gürbulak and including numerous cities. The procedures are still being carried out about these operations. Our friends continue to work on them; and the processes are about to be concluded”.
Reconciliation is vital in customs
Mehmet Büyükekşi, the Chairman of TIM, made a speech in the inauguration of the Reconciliation Platform in Customs, and he stated that effective and rapid working of the customs was vital for the community of foreign trade. Büyükekşi remarked: “we are living in the era of globalization. Rapidity and effectiveness are determinative in the competition. We have experienced a period during which world foreign trade has gained momentum more rapidly than the world revenue. After the crisis, a decrease of approximately 22% was observed in the world foreign trade volume. In 2010, on the other hand, an increase at the rate of 20% was seen in the world foreign trade volume. Büyükekşi stated: “we are also expecting an increase above the world revenue in foreign trade in the next period”, and he said: “The foreign trade is carried out through the customs. As exporters, we expect that our customs office continues to enhance the effectiveness of the services in parallel with the increase observed in the foreign trade volume. Customs transactions without paper have actually started to be performed in Ankara Customs of Semi-Truck Trailers as of January 1. This procedure is aimed to be applied in air and sea customs in a short time, and all customs are expected to work without papers. This process is an important stage in terms of technological transformation. We thank everyone who puts his/her efforts into this innovation”. Büyükekşi also expressed that they became the giant of economy and foreign trade in the region, that the competition among the countries for the exportation of goods and services gained momentum, and that each factor influencing the competitive power was redefined and reevaluated. Büyükekşi said: “we try to increase our rapidity and effectiveness in procurement, production, logistics and after-sales services. We have made a great progress in developing the competitive power of our country. Our companies and institutions have made enormous investments. They have provided serious transformations. The automation and the production of effective services in customs offices have become one of those areas. Turkey has made great progress. It has become the giant of economy and foreign trade in the region. We have become a model country appreciated by the whole world”. Büyükekşi continued as follows:
Great progress has been made in the customs
Turkey is a giant country with a capacity of 300 billion dollars in the foreign trade. We aim to record an export of 500 billion dollars for 2023. When the import is also taken into consideration, our foreign trade will exceed 1 trillion dollars. This scheme clearly demonstrates that the workload and the importance of the customs will become more prominent. We all remember the days when export declarations were filled up by hand. Today, an online connection is provided between the exporters' associations and the customs. Now, all processes are completed by means of computers. We have reached a level where we can follow up our exports on daily basis. We can easily see the goods that we have sold, the countries where we have sent them, the sectors from which the goods were included, and the cities where the goods came from. We can immediately obtain the analyses of such information. We have taken serious steps. However, not only our country but also our rivals are gaining momentum. We can clearly see the positions of numerous countries comparatively in “Doing Business” reports drawn up by the World Bank. A serious improvement is also observed in the rapidity of Turkish customs. As exporters, we would like to thank our customs office for providing such services which are situated in more advanced position when compared to other countries. In the next period, we need to attain the rapidity and efficiency of the OECD countries by going beyond the positions of the developing countries which are in the same league with us. As the Turkish Exporters' Assembly, we will maintain a close cooperation with our customs office as we have done up to now. In 2010, we invited our Minister and his valuable coworkers to TIM. We mentioned the problems of our exporters to them. We discussed together our problems and found solutions to them. When we encountered other problems, we also visited our Minister in Ankara. We always acted in close cooperation with them and demonstrated the example of model collaboration. I would like to thank our honorable Minister and valuable administrators of our Customs office once again”.
We can regain our power in Russia!
Mehmet Büyükekşi, the Chairman of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM), evaluated the relationship between Turkey and Russia which is supposed to ameliorate in consequence of the letter sent by our honorable President of the Republic to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin:
Büyükekşi said that the steps taken nowadays were fit and proper, and he stated: “Subsequent to the agreement concluded with Israel, we, exporters, also welcome the steps taken for the amelioration of the relationship between Turkey and Russia. By this way, we believe that our commercial relationship with Russia, which is one of our most significant trade partners, will reattain its previous position”.
The Chairman of TIM emphasized that it would take time to obtain the previous commercial figures with Russia. He remarked: “Russia's import from the world was 316 billion dollars in 2012. It regressed to 177 billion dollars in 2015. The reason of this change was the decrease observed in the oil prices.
Our exportation to Russia was already showing a decrease even before November 2015 when the crisis occurred. The export rate had annually increased approximately 34% between 2007 and 2012; but this rate decreased 26% in the last two years. The crisis occurring between Turkey and Russia was the reason for this reduction, and the decrease in our exportation activities to this country reached 57%.
Of course, political amelioration of the relations will positively affect our exportation. However, it will take time for Russian economy to recover and for Russian people to regain their previous purchasing power. For this reason, our exportation to Russia will reattain its previous position with delay”.
The Chairman of TIM stated that subsequent to the phone call between our President of the Republic and Russian President Putin, the positive explanations given by the both side cheered the exporters to a great extent, and he also remarked: “the decision of Russia regarding the removal of the restrictions imposed on the tourism to Turkey will make positive contribution to our service exportation. By this way, our exporters will be hopeful for the future thanks to the positive developments observed in the foreign trade and the tourism”.