European Free Zone Founder and Operator CO. (EFZ) is a company of Şahinler Holding which is a top name in the Turkish textile sector. From cotton to yarn, fabric, dyeing, sizing, printing, and confection design, reaching the final consumer as wholesale and retail, Şahinler Holding is "A Fully Integrated Group of Companies" that holds all rings of textile and fashion. The Group has operations with foreign trade, textile, and confection companies in Turkey, Jordan, Bulgaria, and Egypt, and with wholesale and retail marketing companies in Europe and U.S.A. Holding a total number of 12 thousand personnel, the Group indirectly employs 30 thousand people as well. With a goal of maintaining the steady growth performance it has so far for the coming years as well, the Group's turnover has exceeded 1 billion dollars. Among the activities of the Group other than textile, there are food, energy, tourism, construction, and free zone management.
The foundation of the European Free Zone, or in Turkish Avrupa Free Zone, one of the largest private sector industrial projects of Turkey, was laid on 8 August 1998. After the official opening in 2003, and thanks to the investments ASB rose to the 4th rank among the free zones in Turkey by exceeding the annual 2 billion dollars in trade volume in a short period of time. EFZ, founded on a land of 2 million square meters in Çorlu/Tekirdağ which is located in the center of Istanbul, Europe, and major transport networks, has currently 200 active companies. Over 3 thousand people are employed, and the production of the world's leading brands takes place in the zone.
European Free Zone whose project was drawn by one of the largest architectural groups in America, the Swanke Hayden Cornell Project, gives all the infrastructure services as electricity, water, natural gas, wastewater, sewage, roads, communication, etc, to its investors with the assurance of 5 separate quality certificates. In addition to infrastructure services, construction contracting, catering, information technology, insurance, maintenance and repair, loading/unloading, warehousing, consulting, private security, conference room, etc. services are also provided.
Lands with ready infrastructure, general and private warehouses, offices and open stock areas, and ready production facilities are offered to the investors in EFZ with leasing or title deed ownership.
- Production: Purchasing-selling, storing, marking, packing, labeling, exhibiting, and repair-maintenance of raw materials, semi-produced goods related to the production and final goods can be performed
- Purchasing-Selling: Purchasing-selling, storing, labeling, packing, and exhibiting commercial goods can be performed.
- Assembling-Disassembling: Assembling or disassembling of the goods can be performed.
- Repair and Maintenance: Repair and maintenance of the goods can be performed.
- 100% Tax Exemption:
Companies that settle in this free zone are 100% exempted from corporate tax or income tax through their profits generated from production activities until Turkey’s main entry into European Union. (Corporate tax ratio in Turkey is 20 %.)
- Customs-related tax exemptions:
Companies operating in free zone are exempt from Value Added Tax, and all sorts of customs duties.
- Income Tax exemption over salaries paid to employees:
Production companies that sell at least 85% of their production to other countries than Turkey are 100% exempt from income tax payable over salaries of the employees, which differs between 15% and 35% according to the salary level.
- Money value control:
As the transactions within the zone are performed with convertible foreign currencies, the domestic inflation rate will not influence purchasing and selling activities, inventory control, and accounting procedures in general.
- Free Profit Transfer:
The companies settled in the free zone can transfer their profits and earnings to other locations in Turkey or abroad without any permission.
- Since the sales from Turkey to the free zone are considered an export, companies in the free zone have the advantage of buying products at export prices, which are usually lower than domestic prices.
- There is no prohibition against selling from the free zone to the domestic market for raw materials, semi-products, and industrial goods.
- The goods produced in the free zone have the right to free circulation in European Union Countries since Turkey is a member of the European Customs Union.
- Transit and barter trade is possible in the free zone. The faulty goods can easily be returned to its origin.
- There is no time limitation in the free zone for keeping stock. These goods can be delivered to Turkey and abroad partially.
- Ready Infrastructure:
Infrastructure such as electricity, natural gas, telephone, water, sewage, and purification system are ready to be installed in factories.
- Equal Treatment to Foreign Capital:
The companies operating in the free zone can be 100% foreign capital. There is no minimum capital requirement.
Foreigners may acquire land within the free zone. They may sell such lands and buildings to third parties. There is no buying-selling tax in the free zone as it is in Turkey (3%).
- Simplified Procedures:
Required formalities for investments are minimal. Incentive certificates are not required for investments because a more expansive, limitless incentive is granted at the free zone.
- High and Good Quality Employment Potential:
The existing industrial settlement in the region offers a large pool of qualified employees. Thrace is the most densely and reasonably industrialized region in Turkey. The community, therefore, has an industrial culture and stable business life.
- Free Entrance to 2nd hand machines:
The investor companies may bring used machines to the free zone without any restriction or tax.
Photo and Information Source: Avrupa