Turkey plans to renovate custom gates at borders

Turkey plans to renovate custom gates at borders

Nuray Babacan ANKARA
Turkey plans to renovate custom gates at borders

Truck drivers wait in a kilometers-long queue at the Kapıkule customs gate to cross into Bulgaria from Turkey. DHA photo

Turkey is clearing the deck to introduce a comprehensive restructuring at its customs gates, in a bid to solve clogging at borders by speeding up transactions.

Customs and Trade Minister Nurettin Canikli has ordered ministry officials to prepare a project to renew all 17 of Turkey’s customs gates as of next year, according to source close the matter.

The customs gates of Turkey, which shares borders with eight countries, have been a subject of constant criticism due to long queues caused by bureaucratic procedures and smuggling allegations, particularly after escalated violence in Syria, with which Turkey shares its longest border.

The ministry initially foresees renovation of custom gate buildings as well as the technology used at the gates, including barriers systems, phone and camera systems, and illumination systems.

However, the biggest change will be in the handling of passage transactions. With the amendments made in the system, six different transactions made during entrance and exit of vehicles to and from Turkey will be handled at single points.

Regulation changes will also be needed to transform the current system into a better-operating one. As part of this, all authorities regarding this procedure will be transferred to the Customs Ministry from other ministries.

Turkey has made a number of changes at some of gates in recent years, but this time it aims to make comprehensive changes that will standardize all procedures at gates.