1. In order to facilitate the importation of certain products from countries with which Turkey has bilateral trade agreements, Turkey may, with prior approval of the Association Council, grant tariff quotas at reduced or zero rates if the functioning of these agreements is seriously affected by the implementation of this protocol or by the measures taken under this Protocol. Where such agreements or amendments may have a direct and specific impact on the functioning of the association, appropriate consultation is held within the association council to take into account the interests of the parties. To this end, each party communicates, at the request of the other party, any useful information regarding the agreements it has entered into and which contain customs or trade provisions, as well as the changes it makes to its external trade agreements. 1. When the Community concludes an association agreement or preferential agreement with direct and specific consequences on the functioning of the association, an appropriate consultation is organised within the Association Council to enable the Community to take into account the mutual interests covered in the Association Agreement between the Community and Turkey. With the completion of the transition phase, the customs union, which is an important step for our integration into the EU, came into force on 1 January 1996. The level of integration between the contracting parties has reached an advanced point with the customs union and Turkey`s next objective has been EU membership, as outlined in the Ankara Agreements (Article 28). The customs union remains a fundamental dimension of our relations with the EU. (The main organs of the existing association regime are the association council, the association committee, the customs cooperation committee and the joint customs cooperation committee.) Relations between Turkey and the EU were established under the Association Scheme on the basis of the Ankara Agreement, signed with the European Economic Community on 12 September 1963 and entered into force on 1 December 1964. The Ankara agreement provided for three phases of Turkey and EU integration, namely a preparatory phase, a transition phase and a final phase. The customs union was expected to be completed at the end of the transition period.
The conclusion of the preparatory phase under the agreement established the provisions of the transitional phase and the commitments of the parties in the additional protocol signed on 13 November 1970 and entered into force in 1973. 3. The contracting parties undertake not to limit, without the prior approval of the Association Council, the provisions they apply for transfers related to invisible transactions contained in Annex III of the Treaty establishing the Community. Each party informs the other party of all trade agreements with the German territories in which the Basic Law is not applicable to the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as the terms of application.