The Communiqué on Electronic Commerce Information System and Notification Requirements has been published on the Official Gazette dated 11/08/2017 and numbered 30151 (the "Communiqué").
The Communiqué aims to regulate the principles and procedures regarding the registration and notifications to be made to the electronic commerce information system by the 'service providers'.
In general, the term service provider includes all entities which conduct sales, provide services or goods via online platforms. A company which sells its products and services or takes orders via its website, application or any other electronic environment, or, an intermediary website which allows parties to conclude agreements or place orders over its platforms, shall be obliged to register to the system and fulfill the mentioned notification requirements.
The criteria foreseen in the Communiqué specifically includes placing or taking orders over the electronic environments. Thus, even though the service provider does not conclude agreements with its clients nor allow other parties to conclude agreements, taking orders or allowing parties to take orders from an online platform will also be included.
Service providers are expected to fulfill the registration requirements and provide detailed information to the Ministry of Customs and Trade (the "Ministry").
Article 5 of the Communiqué lists the service providers that should be registered to ETBİS (electronic commerce information system) as: (i) Service providers that provide services over their own electronic commerce systems, (ii) intermediary service providers and (iii) services providers that, while being located in Turkey, do not engage in electronic commerce in Turkey but provide services over the foreign service providers.
In this context, if a service provider uses its own electronic environment, such as its own website or internet based application, to conclude agreements or take orders for services or goods, it should be registered to ETBİS. This definition includes a company's e-commerce website or application.
For the intermediary service providers that enable other parties to conclude agreements and place/take orders by using its electronic environment registration to ETBİS is required as well.
The Communiqué would not be applied for the services enabling individual direct communication manners such as electronic mail, phone call, short message or other similar services.
Any person that is uses such electronic environments for its commercial activities should evaluate its status in terms of the Communiqué.
Service providers that would be active as of 01/12/2017 should register to the ETBİS within 30 days from the said date. Generally, a service provider in the above mentioned context is required to get registered to ETBİS prior to commencing to activities.
Registered service providers will be published via an online platform. With respect to the notification requirement of these registered service providers, detailed information such as their activities, goods and services provided by them, their payment methods will be provided to the Ministry as well.
Service providers should provide information as regards to their personal data protection structure. Hence, they should complete their compliance with personal data protection and privacy laws until the end of this year.
In addition to registration; payment and electronic money entities, banks, cargo and logistic operators, electronic commerce substructure providers and intermediary service providers are expected to provide anonymized statics to the Ministry on monthly basis. This requirement will be applicable after 01/01/2018.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.