Turkey changes import duty rules for solar modules

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Changes may be afoot for businesses trading solar panels to and from Turkey.

Turkey has said it will be changing the way it calculates import duties on photovoltaic (PV) solar modules.

Under the previous rules - in force from May 2017 until this month - PV panels qualified for reduced value-added tax (VAT) rates because they were charged per square metre rather than per kilogram, PV magazine reported.

This meant that yields could increase as module sizing remained unchanged per shipment.

Now, though, the government has said the rules will be altered to reflect charges per kilogram, which is significant as new manufacturing processes mean PV panels are becoming heavier.

This may equate to benefits for Turkish manufacturers, as businesses could be put off importing heavy panels they could purchase from within their own shores if they are to be charged more for them.

The government will bring the new rules into force next month, it said.

Chief executive of German-based KRC Consulting Hakki Karacaoglan told PV magazine solar panels are now able to offer a better output at nearly the same size as before, while VAT on imported modules in 2017 was higher than is the case now.

"A drop of VAT income might have been the trigger of this change in the regulation," he explained.

However, Mr Karacaoglan did point out that there has not yet been any explanation about how the Surveillance Certificate (Gozetim Belgesi) - which means firms can apply for duty reductions if they import modules from somewhere other than China - will be affected.

"A new decree ... will have to be issued soon," he told the publication.

Turkey has become an emerging manufacturing destination for PV equipment over the past few years. In late 2019, Conexio Consulting revealed Kalyon Holding was to produce the first 100 per cent Turkish solar panel in Ankara during 2020.

The facility that produces it was set for completion in June this year and will create solar panels with a capacity of 500 megawatts, making it the first integrated plant in the country.

Previously, cell panels had been received in Turkey for further manufacturing, but this will eliminate the need for millions of dollars' worth of solar module imports per year.

Turkey is expected to become the 11th-biggest renewable energy country in the world by 2024, driven mainly by new solar power installations, the International Energy Agency predicts.