Turkish Association Agreement
The modernized EFTA-Turkey Free Trade Agreement was signed on 25 June 2018 and includes trade in products (industrial products, seafood and seafood and processed agricultural products), trade in services, protection of intellectual property rights, public procurement, competition, trade and sustainable development. In addition, the updated bilateral agricultural agreements between the various EFTA countries and Turkey are still part of the instruments for creating the free trade area. Turkey first applied for membership of the European Economic Community (EEC) in July 1959, with the EEC established in 1958. The EEC responded by proposing the establishment of an association as an interim measure leading to full membership. This led to negotiations that culminated in the Ankara Agreement on 12 September 1963.  The parties agree to develop a consultation procedure to ensure the coordination of their trade policies towards third countries and mutual respect for their interests in this area, particularly in the event of the subsequent accession of third countries to the Community or association with the Community. The agreement covers trade in industrial products, fish and seafood products and processed agricultural products. The transition period ended on January 1, 1999. In addition, bilateral agricultural agreements have been concluded between the various EFTA states and Turkey, which are part of the instruments for creating the free trade area. The parties recognize that economic development, social development and environmental protection are interdependent.
In Chapter 7, they reaffirm their commitment to multilateral contracts and principles in the environment and work and commit to a level of protection by recognizing the right of each party to set its own level of environmental and labour protection. Arbitration procedures do not apply to this chapter. The agreement provides tariff concessions for agricultural products processed under Schedule III. Trade in agricultural commodities is covered by three bilateral agricultural agreements negotiated between the EFTA state concerned, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland/Liechtenstein and Turkey. While bilateral agricultural agreements between Norway and Turkey, as well as Iceland and Turkey, remain in force, the bilateral agricultural agreement between Switzerland and Turkey has also been modernized and will replace the existing bilateral agricultural agreement after the modernized EFTA-Turkey free trade agreement comes into force. These bilateral agricultural agreements are part of the instruments for creating the free trade area. They provide for significant concessions on both sides, taking into account the respective sensitivities. 2. This stage does not last more than twelve years, subject to exceptions that can be taken by mutual agreement. Exceptions must not impede the final creation of the customs union within a reasonable period of time.