digital solutions


How the find trustworthy companies, this question leads us to concept of trust. The trust of your potential customer in your product and company will enable them to establish business contacts with you and this will increase the volume of your business. Trust is one of the most important topics for foreign trade companies.


In addition to traditional ways of trading, online commerce has increased the importance of learning and confirming the trustability of a company in the digital environment. In this article, we will share with you how to find trustworthy companies on the digital environment.

If people looking to buy your products from other countries have plain and easy access to your company information over the Internet, they will trust you and connect with you. Therefore, it is very important to position yourself as a trustworthy company in digital.

What Are the Current Problems Regarding Trust in Foreign Trade?

On the way to get an answer for how to find trustworthy companies on the Internet, one of the biggest problems in foreign trade is trust. Enterprises without commercial status approved by the competent authorities who do not import or export, but pretend to operate, are misleading other enterprises who really want to do foreign trade. Some digital foreign trade platforms may involve companies that are not actively trading in their system, making their members look more crowded than they really are. Although these companies are not currently engaged in foreign trade, they can display product offers and requests on these platforms as if they are engaged in foreign trade. Sharing your personal information with unauthorized people could cause your company’s security to be undermined. Is the company you have in mind trustable, does the company have up-to-date contact information, and does the company actively engage in foreign trade? You are strongly advised to take a look at these topics.

How Can a Company’s Trustability be Assessed in Digital?

The first place to look should be the company’s website to see if the company is trustable. The website of the companies is also an online identity of the companies. The following are things to look for when investigating a company’s trustability on the Internet.

  1. Does the site have the company’s logo?
  2. How corporate is the company’s website?
  3. What products are on the company’s website?
  4. Does the company’s website contain a clear and unambiguous address and other contact information?
  5. Are there online reviews about this company or its products?

Other companies will also investigate you online to get to know you and see if you are a trusted business. Therefore, building your website and your communication with your customers along with these trust factors and revamping your existing information along these lines will go a long way for you and your business.

How Does Coimex Solve The Trust Problem In Foreign Trade?

Only companies that are rigorously selected in cooperation with local chambers of commerce, whose business activities are approved and trusted, are accepted into the Coimex community. Companies that will become members of the Coimex system go through several stages. Only trustable companies that can complete this verification and approval process will be included in the system. As a result, companies engaged in foreign trade can conduct safe and sustainable foreign trade with companies that actually exist, actively transact, and publish authentic product offers through a post-based platform with 24/7 visibility.

How Does Coimex’s Verification System Work?


Companies to be included in the Coimex system go through a verification and certification process that consists of several stages. The Chamber of Commerce, with Coimex, checks whether a company is registered in the Chamber of Commerce to which they are affiliated. At the same time, the registration documents and documents of these companies are reviewed during the approval process. At the end of the inspection, these documents are confirmed through the state connections, coordinating union, and liaison agencies. The company that completes this process, which is carried out with the utmost care, becomes a member of Coimex. Therefore, your company establishes sustainable commerce relationships through real-world product offers and requests by connecting with trusted companies via Coimex’s web and mobile applications.

There you have gotten a professional angle on how to find trustworthy companies.

This article is meant to help you better understand Coimex and get answers if you still have some questions.

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In countries where trust is a major concern, Coimex, an international trade community that only admits reliable companies, offers its members numerous exclusive services. Coimex makes foreign trade safer and more accessible through its provided services. With the utmost trust, Coimex matches buyers and sellers since 2017, bringing 25+ years of exerience in to foreign trade.

Two Coimex members, Instanta from Turkey and Storesome from Kenya

16 Exclusive Services offered by Coimex

Coimex stands out in the international trade community, matches buyers and sellers, with numerous distinctive and exclusive services. Two services, in particular, are provided as priority and core services. One is the matching service, and the other is end-to-end negotiation support. These two services are offered to all our members and across all membership packages.

Coimex provides boutique and exclusive services not found in conventional B2B platforms. There are three membership levels at Coimex, and the services vary according to these levels.

The 16 exclusive services offered by Coimex are as follows:

  1. Establishes business connections only with reliable companies.
  2. Enables members to benefit from real-time opportunities through a 24/7 listing system.
  3. Organizes online and offline B2B meetings for its members.
  4. Communicates with relevant authorities in the country of trade to resolve issues if they arise.
  5. Provides a web and mobile-based platform exclusively for members where sellers can submit price quotes, and buyers can announce procurement requests.
  6. Offers translation services for members conducting business in different geographical regions.
  7. Provides a risk-free membership with a customer guarantee for each category in the annual membership. If a member fails to secure customers despite showcasing products and participating in meetings, the membership is extended for free.
  8. Offers end-to-end negotiation support through video meetings, creating a common WhatsApp group, and assisting with negotiations, payment terms, and other related matters.
  9. Matches buyers and sellers within the system.
  10. Provides support for listings and sharing. If members lack time, Coimex takes their catalogs, product information, and prices, prepares listings, and uploads them to the system.
  11. Offers company reliability verification and validation support. When dealing with non-Coimex member clients, if there are concerns about the reliability of these firms, Coimex provides assistance.
  12. Offers marketing support. When entering different markets, Coimex assists in promotional activities in that region, providing PR support or joint digital marketing campaigns as needed.
  13. Provides fair meeting support. Coimex visits major food fairs worldwide. When you set up a booth at a fair, Coimex organizes face-to-face B2B meetings with Coimex buyer members who visit the fair and are matched with your company.
  14. Offers strategic support. When conducting trade in any country where Coimex is active, if you need support in areas such as dealing with the state, customs, or other strategic matters, Coimex provides assistance.
  15. We write blog posts, provide trainings from time to time, organize online events and prepare monthly newsletters to convey up-to-date information and raise awareness in the sector.
  16. And very soon, we will offer our members blockchain solutions in foreign trade. By offering a reliable payment alternative for unreliable geographies, we will enable smart contracts between the parties.

Coimex facilitates the pairing of buyers and sellers within the community, a process also known as commercial matchmaking.

B2B Matchmaking meeting between PFP (Thailan) and Cuddle Meat (Ghana)

Commercial (B2B) Matching: What Is It?

In commercial matchmaking, the goal is to establish connections based on trust, warm communication, and collaboration. It aims to bring together companies that can benefit mutually from business opportunities and commercial deals through B2B meetings.

Through the service of matching buyers with sellers, one-on-one offline and online meetings are conducted to find customers and suppliers by establishing warm communication. Coimex provides this matching service exclusively among buyers and sellers within its own community.

Two Coimex members, Hleks from Türkey and Storesome from Kenya B2B Meeting

What B2B Matchmaking Offers You?

Manual commercial matchmaking and subsequent B2B meetings allow Coimex members to come together both online and offline to get to know the matched company and its products. After these meetings, the warm communication process continues in joint groups, including Coimex, leading to potential business deals.

Researching reliable companies on the internet and examining them one by one can be time-consuming. Coimex streamlines this process by matching you with well-known companies and their products, providing information, and organizing online or face-to-face meetings with decision-makers, facilitating warm communication.

Coimex’s Matchmaking:

  1. Saves you time and money.
  2. Facilitates your international trade.
  3. Enables secure meetings with trustworthy companies.
  4. Shortens and simplifies the sales process through warm communication.
  5. Ensures that your agreements are made on a written and formal basis.
  6. Facilitates expansion into new markets.
  7. Increases your profits through new markets.
  8. Provides language support, i.e., translation assistance”
B2B Matchmaking meeting between Sungrano and Didan

About How Coimex Matches Buyers and Sellers

Coimex matches buyers and sellers but how? Coimex’s main service is providing matchmaking and end-to-end negotiation support. Coimex has an in-depth understanding of the buyer and seller companies within its network. It learns about their expectations, what they buy and sell, and understands their sensitivities. It works as an extension of your team, manually matching you with companies that align with your business. After receiving your approval, it organizes a joint meeting.

Unlike traditional B2B platforms, Coimex doesn’t expect you to do everything on your own after becoming a member. It doesn’t merely offer platform services; it provides you with a range of facilitative and beneficial services for your international trade.

The matchmaking service is provided for both importers and exporters. Depending on whether the service is provided to the buyer or seller, it’s named accordingly.

  1. Customer Matchmaking: When providing matchmaking for the exporter or seller, we call it customer matchmaking. In this service, Coimex brings customers to the seller.
  2. Supplier Matchmaking: When providing this service to the importer or buyer, we call it supplier matchmaking. Coimex brings suppliers to the importer.

Since Coimex has an in-depth understanding of all its members – their profiles, preferences, the type of companies they want to work with, and their specific trade needs – it ensures a suitable match. Coimex doesn’t leave you alone within the system. It acts as a part-time foreign trade employee for companies, representing your business and supporting you in your international trade. The matchmaking is done manually without waiting for your involvement. In other words, this matchmaking doesn’t happen automatically or spontaneously within the system.

How Coimex Matches Buyers and Sellers Manually?

The Coimex team conducts meetings to get to know companies, developing specific foreign trade strategies and matchmaking efforts tailored to each company and its products. Through meticulous work, potential matches between companies are identified. Once a match is identified, contact is made with the company, providing information such as, ‘There is a suitable supplier or customer for you. Their products align with yours, and they are a great fit for your company.’ This initiates the first meeting between the potential customer or supplier, facilitated online with cameras on. This allows both the buyer and seller to see each other, laying the foundation for real and trust-based relationships with actual companies.

During the meeting, mutual questions are asked to address any trust-based concerns. Coimex ensures impartiality and an equal distance between the two parties in all meetings.

After the initial meeting, end-to-end negotiation support is provided.

End-to-End Negotiation Service

Once the matchmaking is done and the initial online face-to-face meeting takes place, this service comes into play. Coimex assumes two fundamental roles during these meetings: that of a mediator and a regulator. Throughout matchmaking meetings and the end-to-end negotiation service, Coimex maintains an equal distance from both parties. During these communications, Coimex does not favor either the buyer or the seller or represent either party. It acts as an impartial mediator, providing equal and fair mediation to both parties.

Mediation Feature: Coimex introduces both parties to each other at the beginning of the meeting. The team offers language support and resolves potential language issues during these meetings. Currently, the Coimex team speaks Turkish, English, Arabic, French, and Farsi. Additionally, Russian language support can be provided from outside the team.

As Coimex is well-acquainted with the sensitivities and commercial needs of both buyers and sellers, it ensures that the meeting is strategic. It facilitates the resolution of questions from both sides, fostering collaboration. Coimex becomes a strategic and driving force to take the meeting towards a commercial agreement and successful sales.

Regulation Feature: When two Coimex member companies engage in trade, certain rules and processes must be followed. For instance, attempting to conduct a sale with only a proforma without a sales contract in place may not be allowed. Coimex regulates the process to prevent such risky situations. If a buyer requests a sample, the seller covers the cost of the sample, but the buyer covers the shipping and transportation costs. Coimex does not allow situations to the contrary.

If an agreement is reached between two Coimex members, the creation of a sales contract becomes mandatory. Making commercial agreements without contracts within the system is not allowed.

Product inspection is carried out. Coimex collaborates with SGS to ensure inspection of goods during the sales process. Sellers are required to handle these SGS procedures before exporting the goods. During this process, the seller is expected to arrange the meeting with SGS. The seller instructs the buyer to contact SGS for inspection. The buyer is responsible for the inspection report’s cost.

When trading between Coimex members, it is mandatory to have internationally valid cargo insurance through a reputable company. Agreements without insurance are not allowed.

Proper and reliable companies are expected to be collaborated with for freight and cargo services. Coimex, in this way, regulates all risky situations in trade.

Typically, since sales are not concluded in a single meeting, Coimex creates a WhatsApp group for these companies after the meeting. This ensures that all questions, answers, and other communication occur within this group, overseen by Coimex management. This way, Coimex monitors both parties and the entire process.

Come join the Coimex community and match with suitable and reliable companies. Organize B2B meetings with the matched firms to find new buyers and sellers. Develop your market and increase your profits.

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Coimex is not just a B2B digital platform. It is a foreign trade community where offline and online worlds come together, offering different services to buyers and sellers, and where members support each other. Coimex gets to know all member companies closely with a boutique service approach. It is well acquainted with their products and needs. Accordingly, it offers various services in different packages tailored to their needs.


As an international foreign trade community consisting exclusively of reliable companies, even in less trustworthy regions, Coimex contributes to the foreign trade of developing countries, and organizes B2B meetings for its members in the food industry.

Coimex is not merely a B2B digital platform. It is a foreign trade community where both offline and online entities converge, offering diverse services to buyers and sellers, and where members support one another. Coimex adopts a boutique service approach, getting to know each member company closely. It is well-versed in its members’ products and needs, thus providing different services in various packages tailored to their requirements.

Coimex, operating in 108 countries, is not just a digital platform but a community!

Coimex is an international food community that allows you to connect with trusted food companies from around the world and establish trust-based, long-term business relationships. With both web and mobile-based platforms exclusively for its members, Coimex’s seller members provide price quotations, while buyer members announce their product requests. However, Coimex’s contribution to your foreign trade and its services to traders are not limited to this alone.

Coimex supports its members’ collaboration by organizing both online and face-to-face B2B meetings between buyer and seller members. Coimex operates on an annual membership system, and one of the membership packages includes a service that brings buyers and sellers together through online and physical B2B meetings, facilitating end-to-end trade.

How are Coimex B2B Meetings organized?

When a dialogue begins between a buyer and a seller member on Coimex, the process unfolds as follows. The seller member displays the product on the platform along with its current price. The buyer member sees this listing promptly thanks to real-time notifications. Typically, buyer members prefer to reach out to Coimex’s Customer Success department representative rather than contacting sellers directly. They ask questions like, “I saw this listing. Who is this company, and is it suitable for our business?” They request a meeting through Coimex to get to know the company and its products better and to determine whether a business collaboration is feasible.

Salix Fruits and Stekar at Coimex B2B Meeting.

Alternatively, a buyer company may contact Coimex’s Customer Success representative, saying, “I need this particular product.” They enter the advertisement for the product they want to buy into the system. When seller members see this listing, they often prefer to contact Coimex rather than sending a direct message to the buyer. They ask questions like, “I saw this listing. Who is this company, what should I pay attention to in the trade, and how should I submit an offer?” They request a meeting through Coimex to get to know the company and its products better as listed in the advertisement.

Due to Coimex’s close familiarity with buyer members and its deep understanding of their product needs, sometimes dialogues like the following can occur: Coimex says, “Among our members, there are these suppliers. You might not have seen their listings. This supplier’s products might suit you, so let’s arrange a meeting with this company.”

Coimex schedules an online B2B meeting on a date that suits both parties. These meetings, typically lasting around 30 minutes, are conducted with video and cameras on for transparency. During the meeting, each company introduces itself and its products. They discuss the details of the listing in the system, all questions and answers, and terms. Coimex maintains a neutral stance throughout the meeting, staying equally distant from both the buyer and seller members. This ensures the protection of both parties’ interests, promotes trade, and offers support. With its in-depth knowledge of both companies, Coimex assists in negotiations regarding payment terms. Coimex team, being well-versed in the products, provides help with product details and highlights important considerations. Certificates, documents, and SGS reports are discussed for the secure progression of the foreign trade process. Coimex fosters dialogue between the two members, facilitating agreement and ensuring a secure transaction.

After the meeting, a shared WhatsApp group enables smooth communication involving both members and Coimex. Coimex follows and supports the entire process end-to-end until the trade between members is completed.

We’d like to reiterate that Coimex does not charge any commission from the trade taking place between its members. The Coimex B2B Meeting service is provided within the membership fee.

Exemplary Coimex Offline B2B Meetings

Coimex members also have the opportunity to meet amongst themselves if they wish. How do these meetings happen?

At a food fair, whether as a visitor or exhibitor, seller and buyer companies have the chance to meet.

For example: Our Kenyan avocado seller member had a booth at the Fruit Logistica Fair in Germany. Go Fresh, our member from Kuwait, who is an importer (buyer), attended the fair as a visitor. These two companies had previously connected online through Coimex organization. In fact, they conducted business following this online meeting. At the fair, they met in person, strengthening their bonds.

Coimex's Members B2B Meetings — News

Fruit Logistica Berlin — Coimex Members Came Together at the Fair 2023

Two Coimex members, Athi Farms from Kenya and Go Fresh from Kuwait, met at the Berlin Fruit Logistica Fair held in February. Both of our members shared this meeting on Coiwall, which is Coimex’s commercial social media platform.

Once again, the Kuwaiti buyer company, Go Fresh, whom we had previously connected with online, visited the Turkish seller company, Sumfresh, at their office in Bursa. These same companies met on another occasion during a different visit to Turkey.

Two Coimex Members Met in Bursa and Shaken Hands!

Two Coimex members, MST Enterprise and Go Fresh, met in Bursa and shook hands. Our two members reached an agreement regarding various fresh fruit products such as lemons and mandarins through Coimex, after a successful B2B meeting.

Coimex doesn’t just provide B2B digital platform services. It also organizes meetings between two members until the trade is realized, and offers services such as translation, process follow-up, and contract support if necessary.

A case of Translation Support

Salix, a company from India, was looking to purchase apples. They came to Turkey to visit other apple companies. They visited various apple producers in five different cities. Among the companies they visited was Sum Fresh, whom we had connected online before. These two companies met face-to-face at the hotel where the Indian representative was staying in Adana. During this meeting, when a language barrier arose, a Coimex Customer Success employee joined the meeting via phone and provided translation support to our member.

Salix Fruits and Sum Fresh, at Coimex B2B Meeting.

At Coimex, members meet through B2B meetings both online and offline, at trade fairs, or in their offices, depending on their preferences. Coimex closely follows and supports all of these visits and dialogues from start to finish. Moreover, apart from the membership fee, Coimex does not charge any commission from these business deals.

Coimex, which knows its members well and keeps track of their activities, encourages and supports its members to write their success stories. Just like these companies, you can also write a success story with Coimex. Join the Coimex community today!

customs -in-the-digitalization-process-container-crisis

During the pandemic, logistics activities in foreign trade were also affected, the global container crisis began and its impact still continues. There were also some changes in customs, as they have found their space in digitalization process, and some changes in the way of doing business.

In this interview, we discussed the ongoing global container crisis and the digitalization process in customs after the pandemic with Yahya Erdogan, the founder of Hür Line Customs Consultancy, one of the leading names in the customs sector.

Mr. Erdogan, first of all, thank you for participating in our interview.

There is an agenda that closely concerns foreign traders: the container crisis. What stage are we currently in with this global container crisis? What is happening?

Yahya Erdoğan: We are right in the middle of the global container crisis. With the COVID-19 epidemic, many sectors and many businesses seized some opportunities. In the beginning of 2020, container freight between Turkey and China was between $1,800-2,000, but now it fluctuates between $9,000 and $10,000.

So, what happened? Let’s start from there, if you wish…
If you look at the shipowners, they say that empty containers are moving back and forth between China and America. Empty containers are in these two countries, and since there are no empty containers here, freight rates have risen. This is what they want to show, but it’s not actually true. Why not? Container manufacturers are constantly producing containers. They have now increased their production capacity by 50%. Our exports are increasing every year. This means there must be containers available somehow. If containers could not be found, our exports would not increase, and goods would remain unsold. But for some reason, there are no containers, and prices have risen because of it. Why? Global crisis, global pandemic, etc.

Where are we in the global container crisis?

Where are we in the global container crisis? Why did it start, and how will it end?
Imagine you are a businessman. You produce a product with a 10-20% cost, and you have a risk. Previously, you made $2,000, but now you make $10,000. The costs are the same, they haven’t changed. Do you see the difference? And do you want to give up this profit, this increase in earnings? Do you want to end this situation at once? Of course, you don’t want to end it. Therefore, in the short term, ending the container crisis is a dream.

So, do we understand that some people want this crisis to continue somehow, using it as an excuse because they are satisfied with high profits?

YE: Yes. So, what happened that caused this crisis? Is it solely because of the pandemic? No, it’s not. If you go back 5 years and do some research, you will see that there were many big players and carriers worldwide. China Shipping was a big player, but it went bankrupt. Hamburg Süd was bought by Maersk. CMA acquired Cosco. They either bought each other or merged. There used to be many players, and it was very challenging for them to come to an agreement and unite. However, now that the number of major players has decreased, it is normal for them to come together and make a decision.

So, in a way, did they create a monopoly?

YE: Yes, a monopoly has been created now. That’s the real reason. The cost of a container is between $1500-2000. Steel production never decreased. There is no shortage of steel and sheet metal to make containers. But for some reason, there are no empty containers. The carriers, i.e., the big players, used to earn $2,000, but now they earn $10,000.

Will the Global Container Crisis End?

So, how can this problem be solved?

It doesn’t seem likely to end with the current carriers and the current system. It also seems challenging to find the old numbers again. Even if the numbers aren’t $10,000, they can be $5,000 or $6,000 in the future. I think it’s a short-term dream to see $2,000 or $3,000 again.

So, when can we see these numbers again?

If country unions, large country groups like the European Union, and new players enter the field, then competition can be created again, and old numbers can be achieved.

What did they say, the container crisis would ease at the end of 2020 or in April 2021, but it didn’t happen. Now there are containers, and there are more containers, but prices are not dropping. One reason for the high commodity prices today is this. If you buy products from China to Turkey, the freight for 10 containers was $20,000, but now it’s $200,000. Your costs have increased. What will you do? You have to add it to your costs and sell. They’ve put the world to sleep well. What’s the reason? Everyone’s talking about the pandemic now. If the pandemic ends, this will end too, they say. But it will only end if people wake up and new players enter the field, but by then, it will be a bit late.

Carriers are also doing this. Previously, everyone would lift their ships. For example, 10,000 containers would be loaded from Mersin Port. Each carrier had 2-3 thousand or 5,000 containers, and the ship was half-full. They don’t do it like that now; they send them on the same ship. They merged, and the competitive environment disappeared. There is opportunism now because of the lack of a competitive environment. They did this by using the pandemic as an excuse. During this process, containers piled up there between China and the United States because of the high volume of trade, and they cannot come here due to the pandemic. They present it as ‘prices increased because containers could not be found.’ This is entirely unrealistic. Even if there is some truth to it, it is minimal.

So, if we say we do not know exactly when these conditions will change, we can also say that we do not know when this container crisis will end, right?

YE: They can tell us that this crisis will end or decrease in 5 months. It’s not realistic. Due to the increases experienced in the last year, they achieved the gains they could have made in 10 years in 1 year. Who would want to give up such high profits? This also creates other opportunities. While the transportation freight cost of carrying 100 containers was $200,000, now the transportation cost of carrying 100 containers is one million dollars. And this situation is causing a continuous increase in commodity prices.

So what can be done to overcome this crisis?

New production lines can be put into operation. Instead of importing from China, there may be a situation of importing from neighboring countries to Turkey. Perhaps trade can be conducted from closer countries rather than distant countries. This could create a production opportunity. New producers and investors can emerge. This also means an opportunity. This can also end the container problem. In other words, if production is done in this geography instead of bringing from the Far East, you can market it in your own country or neighboring country, and there will be relief after a while.

After the pandemic, like many other sectors, we had to conduct foreign trade more over digital channels in the new normal. What was the status of digitization at customs before the pandemic?

YE: Digitization was already present at customs before the pandemic. This step had already been taken. While customs declarations were made manually at the beginning of the 2000s, they were later moved to electronic environment and infrastructure works were completed. By 2019, export declarations were completely transferred to the digital environment and paper was completely eliminated.

After the single window system entered our lives, many applications and documents started to be taken through the system. For example, when you import, you used to bring the foreign exchange transfer letter in a paper environment manually, now you can do it with an ID number. The inward processing document was in paper format before, now it’s in a digital environment. The investment incentive document was in paper format, now it’s in a digital environment. Health certificates for exports were already available in a digital environment before COVID-19.

What changed in customs processes with the pandemic? Did digitization increase during this process?

YE: If you ask how COVID-19 caused a change?

With COVID-19, companies with strong digital and institutional infrastructure were able to work from home during this process. They sent their documents via Cep Gümrük . Those with strong digital infrastructure were able to do these without difficulty. However, companies with poor infrastructure could only work from the office. Thus, it was understood how important electronic infrastructure and institutionalization were. During this process, companies began to strengthen their infrastructure. These steps had already been taken at customs. For example, when origin export documents were prepared, documents such as origin certificate, ATV certificate, Euro 1, and Forma were prepared in the document environment, went to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, were approved and returned. However, this caused a lot of time loss. It was a heavy burden in terms of back and forth and cost. The process had already started before, and it accelerated with COVID-19, and these were moved to the digital environment. Now, all these documents we have listed are prepared in a digital environment.

There used to be an Exporters’ Association Integration, which eased the transactions. Generally, all institutions and ministries were integrated through the single window system. Of course, it is not limited to customs only. Ministries with good infrastructure, for example, the Tax Office had already started digitization before COVID-19.

Previously, when you exported, you presented your declaration in paper form to get the VAT refund, and you received your VAT in this way. But now, the redox system was integrated digitally with customs. Now, these are seen in the digital environment. Correspondences and notifications are also made via e-mail through the e-archive system.

To reduce contact, this was also possible; when you made a temporary import, the products had to be physically inspected by customs officials at the time of exit. To reduce physical contact, documents are uploaded to electronic platforms. If there is any suspicion or negligence, then a physical examination is performed. Companies that strengthen their digital infrastructure and train their staff easily reap the benefits of this.

The Digitalization Process Continues in Customs

With Covid, other processes have also accelerated. The warehouse declaration is now provided in a digital environment in the pilot zone application in Ankara. After the deficiencies are completed and the necessary infrastructure is provided, the entire warehouse processes will be digital. After the warehouse processes are completed, import declarations will also be digitized. Of course, this infrastructure needs to be strong because there are many documents. The infrastructure must be able to handle this. Country infrastructure is also important in this regard. Integration and infrastructure work of not only customs but also other ministries should be parallel to each other. It has been very successful so far. A significant distance has been covered and it will be better and more successful from now on.

Due to the continuation of the pandemic, what is planned under digitalization in customs since physical travel has not been possible for a while?

YE: I can give an example like this; let’s say I have an agreement in Istanbul. I cannot attend this agreement for a reason, I can postpone it. There are some flexibilities compared to the past. However, if you are doing customs procedures, you need to be there. You need to have your office and advisor there. The customs sector is not like others. But, as I mentioned earlier, steps have already been taken. Warehouse processes have been brought into the digital environment with the pilot zone. With the completion of the deficiencies in the import processes, all processes will be moved to the digital environment.

Is there anything that customs or foreign trade workers say “if this happened, it would meet our needs” during this process?

YE: What is currently expected is that the entire industry has a great expectation for the transition of import processes to digital. We will reach this point because we have made significant progress. Trust is actually very important here. European countries started facilitating and simplifying processes about 20 years ago. Taking them as an example, we have introduced Authorized Economic Operator certificates into our lives. Now, Authorized Economic Operator systems have been put into operation. Which companies are in this phase? Companies that are at a certain level in terms of security, corporate and financial aspects can obtain this. In the future, the number of these companies will also increase. Mutual trust is important here. The state will trust the taxpayer, the taxpayer will be honest and trust the state.

With Digitalization, Many Illegal Situations Will Be Eliminated

Everything will be completely legal because it will work in full integration with all institutions. There will no longer be any need for physical documents, only digital documents will be required. In this way, there will be no such thing as fake documents. Everything will be recorded digitally. This will not only be valid nationally but also internationally. Some countries have started this, but it is progressing slowly.

For example, if you submit a certificate of origin to customs, it may be a fake. There will be an institution that will query this. Currently, ICC is doing this. After countries become integrated into the system, it will be possible to see if the document is genuine or not.

As examples like these increase in customs, trade will become easier, a trust environment will be established, and costs will be reduced.

What is the perspective of those working in the customs sector on digitalization?

YE: Customs workers have a very positive perspective on digitalization. It used to be very difficult to find trained personnel in this sector. There were very few people who knew how to use computers. But it is not like that now. Our young people use computers and technology very well. They develop themselves.

Although there are still some who are not ready for digitization, they are preparing themselves and renewing themselves. Because when you become outdated, you are out of the game. You have to constantly update yourself. Everyone is aware of this, and therefore everyone is updating and trying to improve themselves.

If you look at it from the perspective of customs consultants, they use legislation and software programs. They train and develop their personnel. They develop their infrastructure because if they do not do this, they cannot stand on their own feet.

In the foreign trade sector, what is your perspective on digitalization? What do you think about this?

YE: I also have a positive view. The sector also thinks in this direction. For example, in the past, you used to write a declaration of 100 items for 100 items of goods. Writing this would take an average of 1.5 days for your staff. Now, through programs such as uveal, you send the declaration digitally to the customs consultant’s office. Writing that declaration now takes 10-14 minutes digitally.

There is a significant time difference. You are both practical and saving time.

YE: Of course, who wouldn’t be pleased with this? You save time. There is no loss of workforce. The error rate is very low. Thus, productivity increases. Digitalization is perceived positively by both the industrialist and the customs consultant.

Many foreign trade fairs and events are being held online in this process. Do you think traditional methods in foreign trade will evolve into more online methods?

YE: We need to consider physical fairs and online fairs, along with their pros and cons. In traditional methods, for example, if you went to a fair, you would also eat the country’s meals and meet people while you were there. This situation socializes people. It brings the people of that country closer together. These are the positive aspects.

The negative aspect is that a little more money comes out of the boss’s pocket. Because there are travel, accommodation, and food and drink costs. These become costly. In other words, on a physical trip, you will meet new people and maybe establish new commercial connections.

As for online fairs; we save time by participating in the event online. We have no travel, accommodation, and food and drink costs, so nothing comes out of the boss’s pocket. Trade can be conducted online. The employee did not go to the office or the fair physically, but connected from where he/she was and made the trade with very little cost online.

The boss also participated in the online fair. At the online fair, he saw the products and the market. When he went physically, he may have noticed something unexpected, saw an opportunity, and another door might have opened for him. From this perspective, the positive aspect of physical fairs is this.

Here, the geographical proximity and distance of the country we are traveling to also becomes important. If you are traveling to a very distant country or even a different continent, your travel and accommodation costs will also increase. Going to Germany will not have the same time and cost as going to a place in Africa or America, right?

YE: Of course it won’t be the same. Today, going to some African countries and returning safely is almost impossible. Especially for such countries, having events online is a completely positive situation. There is no negative side. Going back and forth to Africa involves vital risks. The best way for Africa is online events.

We may not always be able to travel, we may not be able to go to every country, conditions may not allow it, our age, health status, or financial situation may prevent us from traveling. Not everyone’s physical and financial abilities may allow them to travel and attend physical fairs.

Of course, as you said, the financial situation of the company is also effective here. If you are a large company, you may have a budget for your employees to attend fairs, events and business visits, but smaller companies may not have enough budget for these fairs, events and business visits.

YE: Of course, the financial structure of the company is also important here. About 80% of food companies are small and medium-sized businesses. To make these visits, there must be employees who have foreign language skills. You need educated staff. If the business owner is going and does not know enough language, someone who knows a foreign language also needs to go with them. Along with you, the people accompanying you will also have travel, accommodation and food expenses. Online events and fairs are much more advantageous for such small and medium-sized businesses.

Going to a place physically and having the possibility of capturing new opportunities there is a 10% chance in the industry. However, it appeals to 10% of the sector. From these perspectives, it appeals more to the 90% of the sector online.

What are the effects of conducting foreign trade methods more online than traditional methods on the foreign trade sector and sector employees, in your opinion?

YE: There are only positive effects in every way. There are no negatives. Nowadays, time is very important. When you do foreign trade and foreign trade activities online, you don’t lose time. When you travel physically, you spend time on the way to get on the plane. You spend time during the trip. You also spend both money and time to go from the airport to the place where the meeting will be held. In this sense, online foreign trade is advantageous for everyone who thinks logically and for the industry.

But we also have people who do not know and cannot use technology, although they are in the minority. There are companies that do not invest in digitalization. These people will have to continue using traditional methods until they complete this digitalization process.

These companies can solve this problem by hiring people who know and can use technology in their team, what do you think?

YE: Of course, they can hire someone who knows and can use digital tools in their team. They can also achieve digitalization through a consulting firm. If they try to do foreign trade through digital B2B platforms like Coimex, they will never give it up.

Finally, is there anything you would like to add, Mr. Yahya?

YE: One thing I would like to add is that during the pandemic, healthcare workers were hailed as heroes. They indeed fought heroically. However, the unseen heroes are the customs workers in the customs sector. Why, you may ask? They worked tirelessly day and night without any interruption and without any prohibitions. They deserve to be recognized as heroes. But do they receive the value they deserve? They do not receive enough recognition. The topic we talked about at the beginning, what was the question you asked me? We talked about the container crisis.

For the past 2-3 years, the issue of ordino fees has been discussed. It has also been covered in the news. The ordino fee is currently around 250 Turkish liras. Now, we are talking about large amounts of money for the container crisis. The container tracking form fee is 70-80 dollars. What is the container tracking form fee? If you want to take the container out of the port, you have to pay a declaration fee that allows it in the system. The cost to the operator is a maximum of 5 dollars. You are selling a product that costs $5 for 80-90 dollars, and importers, exporters, and industrialists do not see this. However, customs consultants are in the middle of the firing line. The Trade Chamber is in the middle of Agricultural Quarantine, Agriculture, Exporters Association, transportation companies, port, industrialist, and in the middle of all of these is the customs consultant.

Customs consultants manage foreign trade. Customs consultant fees increase by 9-11% every year, and this causes an uproar. They focus on small things and small fish but do not see things that increase from $2000 to $10,000, as the shipowners do.

My final advice is that those who deal with small things will never grow. That’s why they need to open their eyes. Industrialists should also open their eyes. By focusing on small things, they miss out on big things. Just like now…

One export declaration costs 180 liras, and the cost of another is 5 dollars, and they buy it for 80 dollars without any objection. There is no cost to the ordino fee. Do you know what ordino is? It’s a sticker. It takes one or two minutes for an employee to write it. It has no liability or penalty. They have no objections to it. But the eyes of customs consultants who manage and prepare documents, correct their own deficiencies, and are in the middle of hell are seen as 170-180 liras. It is still seen as a high figure, but it is not a high figure like $10,000. I say to the whole sector and businesspeople, let’s think big. Let’s think big and grow. Let’s make our investments by thinking big. Let’s expand our horizons, improve our vision, strengthen our infrastructure, and see the big things that escape us. That’s all I have to say.

Thank you very much for your valuable participation and contribution, Mr. Yahya.

Interview: Figen Karaaslan

With the pandemic, the way of doing business has changed in every sector. Within the scope of health measures, our ways of doing business have become more digital with travel restrictions. Foreign trade, in the new normal, was carried out mostly over the internet. Digitalization has shortened the distances, accelerated the process, and made it practical, but many companies still keep their distance from digital solutions whether they be right or wrong. In this article, we will look at ‘7 Reasons Why People Don’t Trust Digital Solutions in Foreign Trade’. 

1. Lack of companies from your target audience as promised

Although it is said that “There are companies from all over the world and from every sector”, you may not find enough companies in the system for the products you want to sell or buy. Sometimes there are even customers in these systems that do not exist in the real world. Digital platforms typically prefer quantity (sheer numbers) over reliability. Companies can be taken into the system without being questioned and checked, regardless of whether they are real and/or reliable, so that the lists look crowded.

2. The company lists you purchased are not approved, that is, unreliable.

If the list of companies you purchased does not include reliable companies approved by local chambers of commerce, this may mislead you. Although it is in your own target audience, the quality of the list is very important as well. Are the listed companies registered in chambers of commerce? How safe are these companies and can you actually trade sustainably with them? Just like the customers in the system are not reliable, the product requests & offers may not be real either.

3. Outdated lists

If the lists on the digital platform are not up-to-date, and if the companies have changed the way they trade or maybe even stopped their foreign trade activities, you will waste time with such lists. Listings may be in your target market, but companies open and close over time. Sometimes their contact information or even their names can change. How current is the information on the list? How important are the updates, how often are they made?

4. Sharing the info mails of the companies instead of sharing the direct contact addresses of the decision-makers with you

Having direct contact addresses of decision-makers saves you time and warms your communication. It would be a waste of time for you to try to reach the contact addresses of these people yourself. If you are importing, you want to talk to your potential customer’s import-export manager, you do not want to contact the secretary or accounting. When the personal contact information is not given, it would be a waste of time for the member to try to reach this information him/herself.

5. The use of digital platforms is not as easy as said

If it takes a lot of time, this would not be a smart step for you to search for companies in your target market, to research the reliability of these companies, and question the up-to-dateness of information in the list. Or if you spend hours posting a product offer/request, it’s not a profitable investment either. If the digital solution you use does not have a mobile application and you cannot use the application on your mobile phone, this will also waste your time.

6. Not being able to establish a sustainable relationship

If companies are introduced into the system “en masse”, they may not be aware that they are in the system. When you communicate with these companies, it becomes a cold and insecure form of communication. These systems can take in opportunistic companies without caring about the quality of the members in order to make the member list look crowded. Many companies do not use these systems actively, do not publish good product offers and all their information, because they look at these systems as a side element. You cannot do a sustainable and safe trade with these companies.

7. Not getting a return on your investment​

Although these systems provide certain benefits, most of the time, very meaningful results cannot be obtained from these systems due to the 6 reasons mentioned above. However, many of these systems charge you quite a high annual subscription fee of around $1000. Because of this, you often do not get a return on your investment.

How Does Coimex Solve These Problems?

The reason for the existence of Coimex is to ensure that its members carry out foreign trade through a reliable digital platform, with trustable companies, and in a sustainable way. Coimex offers you the opportunity to do foreign trade with companies that are carefully selected and approved as a result of cooperation with local chambers of commerce, few in number but high in quality. Since your communication with your customers is made through the Coimex system and both parties are members of the same community, a trustable communication and sustainable trading environment is established from the very beginning.

Thanks to Coimex, you communicate directly with the decision-makers in the system and communicate with them one-on-one, based on warmth and trust. When you become a member of the Coimex system, you also get the opportunity to chat one-on-one and live with the decision-makers of the companies via the mobile application. The Coimex platform also has a mobile application that anyone can easily use. Thus, even if you do not have a great knowledge of digital, you can start using the application easily, immediately, through customer service and videos explaining how to use the system.

Thanks to Coimex, you can do foreign trade with quality, reliable and real companies in a safe environment and with real demands. Thus, you can easily and economically perform sustainable trading on a secure digital platform. You can also find answers to questions that may come to your mind before making your membership decision in this article.