Turkish producers want to sell customs-free olive oil to EU

Turkish producers want to sell customs-free olive oil to EU

Turkish producers want to sell customs-free olive oil to EU Turkey should be able to sell its olive oil to European Union markets in a customs-free manner, just like it can do for olives, rather than on inward-processing model, to give a boost to its exports, a leading sector player has said.

The head of the Aegean Olive and Olive Oil Exporters Association said Turkey made some 37 percent of its olive oil exports to Spain in the last 10 months. 

The United States and Italy, another olive oil-rich European country, became Turkey’s other top markets in the mentioned period. 

“European countries do not buy olive oil from us to sell in their own markets, as there is a 1.3 euro customs duty per liter. They buy olive oil from us within the inward-processing regime. Namely, they package the olive oil imported from us in their own countries and sell them to America, Far East and other markets under the label of ‘Bottled in Spain.’ This is also the same in Italy,” the association’s president, Davut Er, told state-run Anadolu Agency on Sept. 25. 

These countries apply the same for olive oil imports from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, he noted, adding that their main advantage was to create added-value in this product through their own established brands.  

Saying that Turkish olive oil should enter the EU in a custom-free way, Er added: “European countries buy our olive oil to sell to third world countries during the seasons when their production is low. This means that our olive oil can be sold anywhere in the world as long as we offer sustainable output.”

He urged the need for Turkey to increase its productivity in the product.
“There are 330 million olive trees in Spain and 170 million trees in Turkey. While Spain takes an average of 5 liters of olive oil from each tree, we barely take 1.5 liters,” Er added. 

Turkey’s olive oil exports rose to 39,449 tons in the last 10 months on amount basis with a 339 year-on-year increase, according to data from the association. 

On value-basis, Turkey made olive oil exports worth $152.6 million with a 266 percent year-on-year increase.