The customs union not only provides for a common external tariff on covered products, but it also provides for Turkey to be aligned with the Community acquis in several key areas of the internal market, including industrial standards. 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. At the Helsinki Summit in December 1999, Turkey was granted candidate status. At the end of 2004, the European Commission presented a report containing positive recommendations to the European Council, which indicates Turkey`s adherence to the political criteria in Copenhagen. On this basis, the European Council decided to open accession negotiations with Turkey on 3 October 2005. Since then, no significant progress has been made on membership and there is no sign of political will to do so. The agreement contains provisions for trade remedies (Articles 2.17 to 2.19), i.e. subsidies and countervailing measures, anti-dumping and global safeguard measures on the basis of relevant WTO agreements.
The provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights (Chapter 4 and Appendix XX) include trademarks, copyrights, patents and geographical indications and include provisions relating to respect for intellectual property rights and cooperation between the parties. They are based on the WTO agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) and provide a high level of protection, taking into account the principles of the most favoured nation and national treatment. In December 2016, the Commission proposed modernising the customs union and extending bilateral trade relations to areas such as services, public procurement and sustainable development. The Commission`s proposal was based on extensive preparatory work during 2016, including a public consultation with stakeholders, a detailed impact assessment and a study by an external consultant. However, the Council has not yet adopted the mandate. Trade in agricultural commodities is covered by three bilateral agricultural agreements negotiated between the EFTA state concerned, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland/Liechtenstein and Turkey.