New requirements have been introduced in Turkey establishing tobacco manufacturing facilities, as well as related permits for establishment and operation. The Regulation Amending the Procedures and Principles of Production and Trade of Tobacco Products ("Amendment Regulation") was published in Official Gazette number 29572 on 24 December 2015, entering into effect on the same date.

Significant amendments made to the Regulation on Principles and Procedures of Manufacturing and Trade of Tobacco Products by the Amendment Regulation include:

Establishing Tobacco Manufacturing Facilities

  • The Amendment Regulation introduces extensive changes for the authorizations and precautions related to preventing environmental pollution.
  • Under the Amendment Regulation, to obtain an establishment permit for manufacturing facilities of tobacco products for cigarettes and chopped tobacco products for rolling, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization ("Ministry") must first give a Positive Environmental Impact Assessment, or a decision that an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required.
  • Manufacturing facilities must be located in a detached or dedicated building with closed area. In organized industrial zones or industrial areas, such facilities must be at least 10,000 m2, or at least 1,000 m2 for facilities located in other places.

Establishment Permits

A Manufacturing Establishment permit from the Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority ("Authority") is required to establish manufacturing facilities for tobacco products. The Amendment Regulation introduces a Certificate of Compliance for Establishing Facility, which is valid for three years. If an applicant fulfills the requirements, the Authority issues a Certificate of Compliance for Establishing Facility. The Authority receives the discretion to grant an extra year after the document's validity period expires. If a project is not completed within the given time, a Certificate of Compliance for Establishing Facility will be deemed cancelled.

Operation Permits

  • The Amendment Regulation introduces new requirements for Operation Permits. Accordingly, it is now obligatory to display an easily readable signboard at least three meters above the ground, including the company name and logo, production category, as well as the warehouse name. It should be placed at the main entrance of the facility, as well as the main entrance for the warehouses holding raw material and finished products.
  • Manufacturers must obtain a separate Operation Permit from the Authority for each category of tobacco products produced by the same facility. The Amendment Regulation introduces a requirement that a 500m2 covered area must be added at the facility for each category of tobacco.

Alteration of Projects

The Amendment Regulation makes significant amendments for alteration of projects, including introducing two categories for machines, with separate requirements for each category:

  • Category one: Includes vascular slaughter machines directly used in tobacco manufacture, machines used for production and packaging, as well as filter rod manufacturing machine. Authority permission is required to make an addition to these machines, transport them, transfer to another company, as well as to export or destroy them.
  • Category two: For machines not included in Category one, it is sufficient to notify the Authority about additions, transportation, transfers, exports or destroying such machines.

Facilities with Existing Operation Permits

Facilities which obtained an Operation Permit before 24 December 2015 are subject to an inspection within 90 days of that date, to determine compliance with the Amendment Regulation's requirements.

The Authority has discretion to grant extensions until 31 December 2016 for facilities to become compliant with requirements under the Amendment Regulation.

Please see this link for full text of the Amendment Regulation (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.

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.