ISTANBUL – Referans

Leaders in Turkey's petroleum sector bemoaned a decreasing strength in the market, as high tax rates and low profit margins pinch their operations' competitive power.
�Due to high tax rates we cannot talk about an accurate competitiveness in the sector,� said Muhsin Alkan, chairman of Petroleum Products Employers' Trade Union, or PÜİS. �There is a 50 to 60 percent tax burden over the sector, after additional obligations, such as distributors' share and the profit range of TÜPRAŞ, are excluded, the remaining profit margin of the supplier totals just 5 or 6 percent.�

Hard to profit
�How could we profit with this narrow margin while other sector members are in a great competition in terms of special offers to their retail customers? We do not have a profit margin in this case,� said Alkan.
�The high tax rates damage the competitiveness, ruin the market structure and fosters illegal trade,� said Atıf Ketenci, chairman of Turkey's Fuel Oil Retailers Petroleum and Gas Companies Employers' Trade Union, or TABGİS. �In order to have a clear and transparent market, the figures for sales, which is between TÜPRAŞ and the main retailers, should be disclosed. TÜPRAŞ does not reveal the sales figures because of its privacy policy but this is against Petroleum Market Code article 5015.�

The most expensive of the EU
�Turkey is the most expensive country in terms of oil and it is the third most expensive one in fuel oil prices,� said Tahir Uysal, general manager of BP Turkey. �In order to decrease the prices, we should first focus on the tax rates. The high rates have fostered an illegal oil trade for many years, but the taxes have stayed put.
�Actually there is considerable competitiveness in the market in terms of the special offers to retail customers. Perhaps we should express this to the EPDK slightly better,� Uysal said, referring to a recent letter from the Energy Market Regulatory Agency, or EPDK, to the Competition Board, stating there is not sufficient competition in the fuel oil sector, Uysal said

Germany tops the list
According to European Union data from June 2008, each EU citizen pays on average 54.8 percent of tax per litter of oil. While the Netherlands implements the highest price per liter, Germany implements the highest tax rates in the EU with 58.3 percent. Sweden follows Germany with 58.2 percent of tax rate, Finland with 57.8 percent, France with 57.3 percent and the United Kingdom with 57 percent.