The additional tax on imported consumer electronic products is expected to be between 10 and 15 percent. The additional tax, which will be a customs tax, will have an immediate effect on the prices of these products. Along with the imposition of the tariff, the government projects an additional income of TL 1 billion ($370 million) from the customs. Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci stated in a press conference on Thursday that detailed information on the additional tax will be disclosed in the following months.
The additional tax was brought into discussion after the application of five Turkish smartphone producers including Vestel. The Ministry of Economy has reached the final phase of their examination, which was initiated on the firms' application for export protection. The finalization of the examination process, which took nine months, ends in September. If the ministry determines that the imports are detrimental to the domestic production, then the protection measures will be implemented. The ministry's decision is to impose tariffs rather than enforcing quotas on imports. Following the examination by the Ministry of Economy, the ratio of the additional tax will be determined by the Council of Ministers. The Ministry of Economy is evaluating taxation method alternatives in order to decide whether the lump sum or progressive tax will be imposed on imports. If there is a progressive tax, a 10 to 15 percent increase is expected for the first year. In the next two years, the ratio of the additional tax will be lower, and will possibly reach zero in the following years.
Zeybekci stated that the bundle of imports that are imposed with the additional tax and subjected to examinations and anti-dumping investigations totaled about $35 billion. Indicating that the ministry will continue taking steps in order to protect domestic producers, Zeybekci said that similar measures will be taken for chemical products. Istanbul Minerals and Metals Exporters Association President Murat Akyüz said that these measures are likely to be aimed at cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
The electronics tariff in discussion is expected to affect smartphone and tablet prices the most, once the tax is imposed. Authorities from the Ministry of Economy stated that the tariff will not include TVs and will only apply for small electronic household items.
The Informatics Industry Association (TÜBİSAD) President Prof. Dr. Kemal Cılız suggested that rather than having tariffs imposed in order to limit consumerism, domestic production should be subsidized. Cılız said that the details of the tariff are not clear but if the additional tax applies for computers and similar sorts of electronics, it will have detrimental effects on the performance of the industry sectors, due to the great importance these devices have in the current competitive business environment. Accordingly, Apple's iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6 products will have price tags of TL 1,666 and TL 3,103 respectively, moving up from their current prices which are TL 1,449 for the iPad2 and TL 2,699 for iPhone 6.