According to the data provided to the Federal Customs Service, Russian producers delivered 4.7 million tons of grain to Turkey in 2016.Vladimir Smirnov/TASS
Turkey has not imposed restrictions on imports of Russian agricultural products and grain, but removed Russia from the list of countries allowed to import products free of duties, a source in Russia’s trade promotion office in Ankara told TASS on March 20.
"Turkey has not imposed restrictions on imports of Russian agricultural products and particularly grain. The problem is that the Economy Ministry (of Turkey) has ordered to introduce the principle of the country of origin, and Russia and some other countries are not on the list of states with duty-free imports that can deliver commodities for further processing and export free of 130 percent duty," the source said.
He added that previously Russian exporters and their Turkish customers imported grain with zero duty. "However, it was imported only to be processed and further exported. It was necessary to pay a 130 percent duty nonetheless in order to sell products on the local market. The new regulation came into force starting March 15," he said.
According to the source, "the newly-introduced changes of the Economy Ministry do not violate the WTO rules."
Earlier President of the Istanbul Association of Exporters Zekeriya Mete confirmed to TASS that Russian grain imports had been restricted. "There is a ministerial instruction to restrict imports of grain from Russia. We are unaware of the exact reasons for this decision, probably, there are certain issues related to sanitary surveillance. But we will accept all Russian ships that are already in our ports with grain of proper quality," he said.
According to the data provided to the Federal Customs Service, Russian producers delivered 4.7 million tons of grain to Turkey last year, including 2.6 million tons of wheat and 838,000 tons of corn.