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In the case of Baylan (Turkish ECAA- ‘identical’ applications) Turkey [2012] UKUT (IAC), the Upper Tribunal has provided guidelines on the issue of identical or near identical Turkish ECAA applications.  Generally, when dealing with any Turkish ECAA case, decision makers must bear in mind the guidance given in EK (Ankara Agreement-1972 Rules- construction) Turkey [2010] UKUT 425 (IAC).  When considering applications that appear to be identical, it is important to differentiate between them being exactly the same or merely similar.

Indenticality (or near identicality) in applications should not in itself render an applicant incapable of succeeding in an ECAA application.  It is common practice for people wishing to start up a small business to engage the services of professional business advisers.  Such advisers may encourage the applicant to model their application on similar business proposals which have previously succeeded.  Therefore, applications for a similar purpose and using a similar business plan will not automatically mean they are not viable.

However, the Upper Tribunal found that the viability of an applicant’s business plan must be demonstrated in the context of their personal circumstances, as reflected in the wording of paragraph 21 of HC510.  The purpose of the Turkish ECAA is to promote genuine economic activity.  Therefore, an applicant must provide evidence that he is setting up as self-employed.  He must also show that his share of the profits will be sufficient to maintain himself and any dependents.  Furthermore, he must demonstrate the ability to deal with any liabilities that may arise in the course of business.

In summary, the key concern when assessing viability of a business plan is not whether it is identical to another, but whether it adequately reflects the applicant’s personal circumstances

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