Expert report

The EU-Turkey Customs Union and trade relations: what options for the future? - DG EXPO in-depth analysis

This in-depth analysis summarizes the main effects of the Customs Union (CU) on EU-Turkey trade and the economic situation in Turkey. Whereas the CU offers Turkey several economic benefits, it also implies some downsides, in particular asymmetric tariffs in relation to third countries. Against the background of the dynamic development of EU-Turkey relations, the authors assess the impact of four different options for developing EU-Turkey economic and trade relations:

(i) Continuation of the current Customs Union framework as it stands,
(ii) Modernization and upgrading of the Customs Union,
(iii) A transformation of the bilateral trade relations into a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA),
(iv) Suspension of the Customs Union (in which case WTO rules would apply).


The in-depth-analysis describes the options, the challenges the EU-Turkey Customs Union faces and seeks solutions for these issues.

This study was prepared for the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA). The study is available on the European Parliament’s online database, ‘ThinkTank‘. Copyright remains with the European Parliament at all times.

Authors