I feel pleasure to refresh your knowledge on baby products in Turkey on this first issue of BAGIDER Magazine, which I believe to have a high importance for our sector.

And your participation in our events is a sign that BAGIDER will go over very big in the future. The number of the babies that were born alive in 2015 is 1,325,783. Our crude birth rate in 2015 according to the Turkish Statistical Institute is 2.14, which was approximately 2.18 in 2014. This number refers to the number of children a woman between the ages of 15 and 49 can give birth to. Despite our decreasing crude birth rate and the number of babies given birth to each year, we still rank the 28th worldwide with an increase of 1.28%. These numbers show us that baby products sector in Turkey is growing, and it will keep on doing so. Even though we think of everything that babies use when we say “baby products,” it primarily consists of strollers, highchairs, playpens, baby walkers, and car seats.

These, as known, are referred to as “metal group” or “overhaul” in stores. The majority of these products are supplied through importation. If we take a closer look at the numbers of the largest component, strollers, it gets easier to see some facts. The amount spent for 1,667,541 strollers imported between 2010 and 2015 is $194,473,000. 89% of these importations are from China, and the median unit rate is $116. Even though there is no exact number, it is assumed that there is a yearly sale of approximately 400,000 strollers, which shows that domestic production is increased up to 80,000, or 20%.

Even though these numbers appear to be similar to high chairs, playpens, and baby walkers up to 2015, the amount of domestic production is on the rise, thanks to Turkey’s additional 50% tax which was enforced on May 23, 2015. The amount of annual production reached in these product groups which are easier to manufacture compared to strollers and car seats show that domestic products will be more in demand in the following years. When you think that this competition will enhance the quality and prices in the local market, it’s possible to say that our amount of exportation will increase as well, which is good news for the Turkish economy!

However, the same scenario is not applicable to baby car seats which have the utmost importance for the safety of babies and is made obligatory by the state on June 1, 2010. Due to having a more complicated manufacturing process and a highly expensive ECE R44/04 certification, they are not being manufactured in Turkey yet. Approximately 140,000 car seats have been sold in Turkey in 2015, which corresponds to a small portion similar to 10% when compared to the number of newborns. This ratio is, for example, up to 75% in France while it’s around 95% in Northern European countries.

Our association is in contact with the officials on this matter which is closely related to the well-being of our babies. BAGIDER Administrative Board directs the necessary requests to lower or remove the 50% additional tax at least until domestic production reaches a certain level. We believe that the government officials who are greatly concerned about the population growth will consider this seriously.

Last but not the least, we would like to remind our sector once again after the seminar that was organized in coordination with the Ministry of Customs and Trade on October 4 at Biz Cevahir Hotel that baby products will be checked regularly and elaborately for health and safety of our children. All imported and domestic baby equipment should conform the standards. These examinations are extremely important for our babies’ health. As officials from the ministry make clear, new domestic baby products which have high standards due to inspections will open new doors to large import markets.

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