Trabzon Free Zone

Trabzon Free Trade Zone is located within the port of Trabzon. It is defined as a site within the country but outside the customs border and for high-value goods, it offers secure and convenient storage facilities, from which regional markets can draw down small shipments as required. Hence, merchandise originating from overseas may be brought into Trabzon Free Zone warehouses without payment of customs duties, import duties, or other excise taxes.

Merchandise brought into the Free Zone can be dispatched abroad or distributed locally with or without processing. The opportunity to sell locally manufactured merchandise in the Free Zone is a unique benefit that is not obtainable within export-free zones of competing countries.

In the Trabzon Free Trade zone all types of trade, transit trade, and sales of every kind of commodities, goods, and electronics, can be carried out without being subject to Turkish legislation by Turkish or foreign companies without any distinction.

The Free Zone also offers foreign investors attractive economic incentives. These include:

  • 100% repatriation of capital
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • The establishment of subsidiaries without local partners
  • All fields of activities open to the Turkish private sector are also open to foreign and/ or joint venture companies.


Turkey: Bridging East and West

Turkey has established a position as one of the major business and trading powers of the Eastern Mediterranean. Its strategic location provides excellent access not only to its traditional trading partners in the Middle East (Notably Iran, Iraq, and Syria), and Eastern Europe, but also to the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Central Asian Republics.


About Trabzon

The ancient city of Trabzon (formerly westernized as ‘Trebizond’) stands in northeastern Anatolia. Renowned for its historical associations, cultural significance, and impressive architecture, the Municipality of Trabzon covers an area of 8.3 sq. km, with a population in excess of 340,000.


Dominated by the Black Sea, the climate at Trabzon differs from the rest of Turkey, being generally warm and humid with year-round rainfall and less extreme temperatures. The surrounding land is remarkably fertile, rich in water, hosts many species of plants and flowers, and is densely forested.


Trabzon takes its name from ‘Trapezus’, the word for square tables, since the old city walls form a similar shape. It became a Roman state under Arianus (98-117 AD) and was later sieged twice by Hadrian (117-138 AD) who constructed the first harbor in his name. In the latter half of the eighteenth century, Trabzon became a vital staging post on the flourishing trade routes between Erzurum and Tabriz, and from the Black Sea to Persia. Its continuing importance and growth as an import-export center made it a desirable prize and its possession was contested on numerous occasions. The first committed attempt at seizure by the Ottomans occurred between the years of 1447- 1458 when Sultan Murat II dispatched his fleet, but failed to occupy the city. Trabzon finally became Turkish in 1461 and has since developed into the major Black Sea port of the present day.

Trabzon is one of the most modern ports on the Black Sea and is located at the center of the lively commercial traffic among the states bordering the Black Sea and other countries in its hinterland. It is ideally positioned to facilitate trade between East and West, and its capabilities have been considerably extended by the development of a sizeable Freeport and Trade Centre.

The Georgian border can be reached only in 3 (three) hours. There is direct air and road connection with the Central Asian Republics and CIS countries. Trabzon has been designed to offer the greatest possible versatility as a transshipment center.

Overall Facilities of the Trabzon Port consist of seven quays – with a depth from 9 to 10.5 meters and length from 200 to 400 meters – with a combined capacity of some 2,000 vessels per year, a modern container terminal equipped with necessary outfits.

Substantial Government Investment

Turkey has always been an important crossroad for business and relies heavily upon its ports to maintain and expand its economic development. Assisted by the efforts of the Turkish Maritime organization, there have been many successful investments in the infrastructure of ports.

A modern, international trading center

Trabzon has been designed to offer the greatest possible versatility as a trans-shipment center. For bulk goods, it is ideal as an intermediate distribution point- a modern port where large vessels can have their cargoes reloaded into smaller vessels for local distribution, or offloaded onto trucks for delivery by road. For high-value goods, Trabzon Free-Zone offers secure and convenient storage facilities, from which regional markets can draw down small shipments as required.

Trabzon’s strategic location, substantial modernization, and successful investment programs are encouraging signs of a healthy and profitable future.

Turkey’s growth in political and economic importance, and the consolidation and strengthening of the markets to the west, north, and east in the region contribute to the Black Sea becoming an increasingly beneficial trade route.

Trabzon now provides comprehensive and up-to-date facilities, together with ready access to virtually all neighboring regions and nations. As a convenient trans-shipment location, its advantages are significant.

Strategic Location

Trabzon offers excellent access to all the major markets of the surrounding regions. Indeed, few other locations can provide so developed or so modern a springboard for the expansion of international trade.

Road Distances from Trabzon

  • Bazargan (Iranian border) 650km
  • Tabriz (Iran) 950km
  • Tehran (Iran) 1617km
  • Sarp (CIS border) 198km
  • Nakhijvan border 750km
  • Armenian border 570km
  • Baku (Azerbaijan) 1000km

By Sea

It is clear that the Black Sea will become an increasingly beneficial trade route. To the north-west, the seaways link Trabzon with the nations of Eastern Europe; to the north-east, they lead to the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Central Asian Republics.

By Land

Trabzon is the hub of a good and developing regional road network- to the south, with Turkey and Syria; to the south-east with Iraq and Iran; to the north-east with the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Central Asian Republics.


The Trabzon Port

The Trabzon Port occupies the sea area contained by two imaginary lines each drawn one mile in length in the direction of True North. The first of these begins at the Hacibesir Stream in the west, the second from Cape Hopis in the east. A third line linking these two denotes the port area. The port itself is divided into two: an inner port contained by the main breakwater and the edge of the small mole, and an outer port covering the area between the inner port and the open Sea.

Overall facilities consist of seven quays, with a combined capacity of some 2,000 vessels per year, a modern container terminal, and the new Free-Zone.

Cargo handling is currently provided on a two-shift basis for 17 hours each day; pilotage is available 24 hours a day throughout the year. At present, the majority of traffic is between Europe and the Middle East and includes general cargo, container freight, and dry bulk. There are, however, numerous opportunities for expansion and development, both in the types of cargo handled and in markets served. It is estimated that working on a continuous three-shift basis, the port is capable of a total capacity of 3.8 million tons per year.


Trabzon Free Zone offers secure and convenient storage facilities with 11.000sq.m of first-class covered two warehouses and 20.000sq.m of open space.

Private storage facilities are also available with 200sq.m small private warehouses.

Trade Centre

The infrastructure of the Trabzon Free Zone is to international standards. The Trade Centre is a prestigious building within the Free Zone. It comprises 1.500sq.m of high-grade office space, complete with all modern business facilities including car parking, telephone, telex, internet, and fax.

The trade Centre also houses offices of the Port and Free Zone Customs and Police detachments. It is therefore the ideal site for business within the Port and Free-Zone complex, providing ready access to communications and administrative infrastructure.

The space is available to let in several units, from 50sq.m upwards.

Bulk Deliveries

For handling bulk deliveries, the port is equipped with two Dumbar Capple cranes (120 tons/hour) and three Dumbar Capple cranes (70 tons/hour).


Loading and discharge of containers take place at the West Quay, 400m in length and equipped with a static 25-tonne crane. Mobile equipment includes a 25-tonne crane, a 40-tonne Belotti forklift, and two 35-tonne Transtaine units. Handling capacity at present is 60 containers per 12-hour shift.


Free Zone Advantages

  • Exemption From VAT- Since the sale of goods and services from Turkey to the free trade zone is considered an export, such goods and services are exempt from Value Added Taxes.
  • Free Transfer Of Earnings- Earnings and revenues generated in the free trade zone can be transferred to any country, including Turkey, freely without any prior permission and such transfers are not subject to any kind of taxes or fees.
  • Custom Duties Exemption- Since the free trade zones are considered outside the customs border, goods entering the free trade zone are exempt from duties.
  • Exemption From RUSF- 6% Resource Utilization Support Fund, which is applicable to imports with acceptance credit is not paid at free trade zones.
  • Prohibition Of Strikes and Lockouts- Strikes and Lockouts are prohibited for a period of ten years from the beginning date of operations of each zone.
  • Minimum Bureaucracy- Bureaucracy is at the minimum level during the application and operation phase at free trade zones.
  • Other Exemptions- Transactions are exempt from all kinds of fees, taxes, and funds including banks’ transaction taxes.



  • Purchase and Sales
  • Rentals
  • Storage
  • Production


Photo and Information Source: TRANSBAS