Recently, there has been increase in news on importing of smuggled goods or prohibited goods to the country by ships. Import of forbidden goods to the country by sea transport is the subject of smuggling. The smuggling was arranged in the Criminal Procedure Law (“CPL”)No. 5271.
Importing the various goods smuggled to the Turkey by the maritime transport is evaluated in the frame of Turkish Commercial Law (“TCL”), Law No: 2313 on the Supervision of Narcotic Drugs (“Law on the Supervision of Narcotic Drugs”), Anti-Smuggling Law No. 5607 (“the Anti-Counterfeiting and Anti-Smuggling Law”), Customs Law No. 4458 (“Customs Law”), Regulation on the Principles on the Application of Article 17 of the United Nations Convention Against the Smuggling of Drugs and Psychotropic Items, the Customs Enforcement Duties Regulation (“Customs Enforcement Duties Regulation”), Insurance Law No. 5684 (“SK”), Import Control of Tobacco, Tobacco Products, Alcohol and Alcoholic Beverages (“Import Control of Tobacco, Tobacco Products, Alcohol and Alcoholic Beverages”), Regulation ofthe Implementation of the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Animals and Plants Convention (“Regulation of the Implementation of the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Animals and Plants Convention”).
According to Article 7 of the Anti-Smuggling Law, the master of the ship is liable of illegally import of the drugs into Turkey by the ship. The relevant provision is regulated as follows:
In the absence of a legitimate excuse the master of the ship entering the customs territory without permission and entering the shore or another ship shall be punished according to the provisions concerning smuggling in the Law in the case of prohibited goods on board or in the presence of goods not included in the loading or transport document.
In the event that imports subject to smuggling are committed within the scope of the activity of the legal entity, the authorities of the importing legal entity do not have criminal responsibilities instead, safety precautions shall be applied in the frame of Article 4/3 of Anti-Smuggling Law. Cancellation of permit and confiscation security measures can be applied for legal entities. The cancellation of the permit hereby contains the cancellation of the permit granted to the legal entity by the Public Authority. The confiscation of goods obtained from smuggling acts or used in smuggling activities may also be the subject of seize within the scope of tort activity of legal entity.
In the Article 3 of the Smuggling Law, smuggling is defined and criminal provisions to be applied are mentioned.
“ (1) A person who brings a ware into the country without subjecting to customs formalities shall be sentenced to imprisonment from 1 (one) year to 5 (five) years and to judicial fine up to 10,000 (ten thousand) days. If the ware is brought into the country from outside the customs gates, the penalty will be increased from one third to the half …
(7) The person who imports the prohibited goods into the country shall be sentenced to imprisonment from two years to six years and judicial fine up to twenty thousand day sunless the action does not constitute a crime requiring a heavier punishment. A person who intentionally buys, sells, carries, or hides imported prohibited goods, shall be punished with the same punishment…
(21) The attempter shall be punished as the offender.
(22) If the value of the good is high, the penalties are increased from one half to one level.”