Why European Brands Should Invest In Turkish Toys


Why European Brands Should Invest In Turkish Toys

Lying partly in Asia and partly in Europe, Turkey is an ideally located hub with opportunities for growth and innovation, with special attention to those in the toy industry. Turkish toys are beginning to capture the attention of European importers, and the industry is set to flourish in the coming years.

Learn why Turkey is the place your brand should be setting its sights on for your toy manufacturing and the benefits of this sourcing opportunity.

Importers are becoming increasingly cautious when sourcing abroad due to the risk they take when it comes to the quality of the toy or the raw materials that were used in the process of production.

Turkey has recently started manufacturing toys with this in mind.

What do I mean?

Turkey has begun manufacturing toys according to the CE directive, which ensures that their toys are compliant and ready to be exported into Europe with all toy safety regulations being met. These new toy regulations became effective on April 4, 2017.

In this blog post, I seek to outline this trajectory for growth and highlight what this opportunity for growth can mean for your sourcing strategy.

The Turkish Toy Industry Is Set For Growth

The toy industry in Turkey is set on a continued trajectory for growth. The below graph indicates that 33% of the Turkish population are children. Its toy industry has grown 20 times over in the last five years, and is set to be worth around USD 1 billion.

turkish toys

Currently Turkey is the EU’s 4th largest export market and 5th largest provider of imported goods. The EU is by far Turkey’s number one import and export partner.

This level of industry growth provides an ideal platform in which many manufacturers and importers, both domestically and internationally, can leverage.

The challenges of sourcing in developing countries

Many sourcing countries are currently in third world or developing countries, which makes it harder to guarantee high levels product quality and supply chain compliance.

Some other challenges include:

  • Travel times – The time it takes to get to various factory for inspections
  • Expenses – Longer travel times means greater expenses.
  • Less hands on – Distance means that it is difficult for you to be hands on with the factory and your product.
  • Social compliance – This can be hard to achieve and monitor in sourcing countries as cheap and forced, or child labour, often go undetected.
  • Product compliance – Ensuring your children’s toy arrives in compliance with all European standards being met is likely one of the greatest challenges that importers face.

Turkey presents itself as a sourcing alternative to that of Asia as well as provides a sourcing opportunity that is closer for European retailers and importers.

What are the Key benefits of this sourcing opportunity

  • Faster time to market due to an ideal geographical location that provides a competitive position for your brand and product.
  • turkish toys marketYou can be more hands on in approach to factory and production monitoring and inspection.
  • You can meet trend demands faster – This can often be done through ordering smaller quantities at a time.
  • Manufacturing costs will continue to drop as the industry grows

If you are to remain a key competitor in the marketplace, it will be important for you to understand the global geographical opportunities that are out there.

Even though sourcing in Turkey may result in elevated manufacturing costs from the outset, the country has ensured their national toy safety regulations are matched with that of the EU regulations, which presents an opportunity for further growth and a uniquely competitive advantage for European toy brands.

Let us know if you have leveraged opportunities like this before and what some of your challenges were in the comments section below

API can assist with all of your sourcing and quality challenges, please reach out if we can help you in any way and we will be happy to assist.



Shipment Stuck In Customs? 7 Steps To Avoid Import Delays

As a professional importer, a dreaded shipment delay is likely something that keeps you up all night and keeps you pacing the office all day. Then the day arrives! You get the call you’ve been waiting for alerting you that your shipment has arrived, and suddenly, your worst nightmare becomes a reality… Your goods are stuck in customs! Tackling customs is a bureaucratic nightmare most importers have had to deal with one time or another, and it’s something that if not dealt with quickly could spell a host of problems you’d much rather not have to deal with at all. What if you could avoid import delays all together? It’s all about the preparation of your import documentation. In this blog post, I want to provide you with a 7 step checklist that will help you navigate customs without a hitch or hassle in sight. We will take a look at the documentation that needs to be filled in correctly from start to finish, so you can say goodbye to your shipment stuck in customs for good! “So, what is the process?”

#1 An import license

Ensure that you have applied for an import license. You will not be able to ship your goods without this license. It specifies your permission to bring a certain amount of goods into a specific country and is only valid for a certain period of time. A top tip would be to create a file to keep all your import and shipping documents in one place. This may seem obvious, but with the mountain of paperwork that begins to pile up, it becomes easy to lose a document, which could result in a costly and time-consuming delay that could have been avoided with just a little bit of organization on your part.

Shipment stuck in customs - customs declaration

#2 An import declaration

This document is to merely state your intention as an importer to bring valid goods into a specific country. You need this document to verify you, as an importer, and to verify your goods in your destination country.

#3 Your invoice needs to be all inclusive

Your invoice needs to match your actual shipment. While this may seem like an obvious thing, it is often overlooked and can cause havoc during your customs clearance. An all inclusive invoice can look something like this:
  • Country of origin
  • Destination country
  • Name, surname, all possible contact information of both supplier and importer
  • In some cases, a Tax Id number will need to be provided
  • Payment method will all reference numbers and dates
  • Quantity of shipment
  • Total price of shipment
  • Total weight of shipment
  • A full description with the common naming of each item you are importing – I will touch base on this in my next point.
“Wait, there’s more…”

#4 Classification of goods

When classifying your goods for import, you need to be as in depth and detailed as possible with regards to each item that you are shipping. This classification of your goods will create a smoother process for the customs official, which will in turn ensure a faster turn around time for your shipment.

#5 Declaration of conformity

In many countries importers are in need of preparing a declaration of conformity; “What is a declaration of conformity?” “This is an official document confirming that the product was manufactured (as well as developed) in full compliance with all applicable requirements in place and technical rules that are described in certain Technical Regulations of Customs Union.” As an importer you will need to be aware of the specific regulations that your product needs to comply with in order to know which certification you need.

# 6 POA – Not a plan of action, a Power Of Attorney

Stcuk in customs - POAA POA is essential for filling out shippers exportation documents. This exportation document cannot be completed without a valid POA. Without it, your shipment will not be released, costing you time and money. “So, what happens when one of these documents are not in order?” You incur costs that begin adding up on a daily basis. Your shipment will be warehoused, where you will be billed for every day your shipment is there. It will be time consuming. Much of the paperwork mentioned above takes time to complete, but now you will be waiting on paperwork while raking up warehouse fees. This is not an ideal situation but can be avoided with thorough, well-kept, organized paperwork and a dash of patience to go along with it.

#7 Do use a customs agency

If you think that managing large orders on your own is something that you are willing to put all of your efforts and time into, then, by all means, go ahead. But my advice would be to use a customs agency. A customs agency has the expertise and knowledge to ensure that all the right paper work, permits, licensing and classifications are in order, so as to relieve yourself of those dreaded moments of hearing that your shipment is stuck in customs due to incorrect paperwork. They are also familiar with regulations and compliance standards that need to be met, that are also specific to your desired location and specific to your product.


Your documentation is absolutely crucial to a smooth customs experience. Nip customs issues in the bud by:
  • keeping all of your import documentation in one place
  • ensuring you have the right documentation that is specific to your product and destination country’s regulations
  • being clear in your classification of each and every item you are importing
  • not under valuing your product. If there is just a whiff of under valued items your shipment will be flagged, and you will get stuck unnecessarily which will prove to be a much more costly exercise for you
With these actionable steps, some sharpening of your organizational skills, and a bit of patience, you can begin to systematically tackle the paperwork that will see you through the import process.

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