Turkey: New Era At Electronic Commerce (April 2015)

The Law numbered 6563 on Regulation of Electronic Commerce (Law) foreseen the procedures and principles of electronic commerce (e-commerce) shall enter into force as of 01.05.2015.

"Electronic Commerce" means any kind of online commercial and financial operations executed through the electronic environment without physical existence of the parties.

The Law regulates the following details of e-commerce;

  • Commercial communication between the sellers and purchasers,
  • Responsibilities of sales or service suppliers (any real person or legal entities which operates in e-commerce business) and intermediary service suppliers (real person or legal entities provides the e-commerce environment for the third parties operating in e-commerce business),
  • Agreements concluded via electronic environment and sales or service supplier's obligation to provide information,
  • Sanctions against the breach of Law.

The outstanding and new obligation foreseen by the Law is to provide information to the purchasers. Sellers or Service supplier are obliged to (1)provide updated and accessible introductory information, (2)technical steps to be followed for conclusion of an agreement, (3)information on whether the service supplier preserves the agreement (or not), (4)whether the purchaser is allowed to access to the agreement later (or not), (4)information on technical means for easy and understandable determination and correction of data entries, (5)information on confidentiality provisions and (6)information on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms if there exists, to the purchasers before the conclusion of the agreement through electronic communication instruments.

Another major obligation which is newly foreseen by Law is related with the orders of the purchasers received within the scope of electronic commerce. The sales or service supplier has to provide terms and conditions of the agreement explicitly including the total price to be paid by the purchaser before providing payment details and before the approval of the order. Furthermore, the service supplier is obliged to confirm the acceptance of the purchaser's order, without any delay and through the electronic communication means.

Further to the above explanations the Law foresees new obligations regarding the content and delivery of commercial electronic communication. The mentioned obligations are as follows:

  • Service suppliers are allowed to send electronic message to the purchasers provided that service suppliers have been provided with the prior consent of the purchasers,
  • The content of the commercial electronic message must be in conformity with the approval of the purchaser,
  • Introductory information and the updated contact details of the service supplier as per the type of the communication (such as telephone number, fax number, short message number and e-mail account) must be provided within the scope of the commercial electronic message,
  • The purchasers shall be allowed to withdraw from being recipient of such commercial electronic messages at any time without assertion of a reasonable cause,
  • The service supplier is obliged to allow the purchaser to deliver their withdrawal through any kind of electronic communication instruments which shall be free of charge and easy,
  • The service supplier is obliged to cease sending electronic messages to the purchaser following the delivery of the withdrawal request,

The approval of the purchaser can be provided either in written form or through any kind of electronic communication instruments. In case the purchaser provides his/her contact details for communication purposes regarding a sale, no further approval is required for (getting communication through these means in case of ) any alteration, use or maintenance of the purchased good or service.

Ministry of Customs and Trade is entitled to conduct any kind of inspection and examination under the Law. Any person, who violates the obligations under Law, shall be sentenced to administrative penalties between one thousand Turkish Liras and fifteen thousand Turkish Liras according to the type of their breaches.

As a consequence, we strongly advice the service suppliers to change and update their databases in accordance with the obligations foreseen by Law as of 01.05.2015 which is the enforcement date of the Law.

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.

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