I. Announcements

Postponement of the Deadline for Registration to VERBIS

With the decision numbered 2019/387, the Personal Data Protection Board decided to postpone the period determined to fulfill the Data Controllers Registry Information System (VERBIS) registration obligation until 30.06.2020 for the data officers in the first group and 30.09.2020 for the data officers in the second group. Data controllers in the first group are: i) Those who have an annual number of employees more than 50 or an annual financial balance total of more than 25 million TL, ii) are real and legal persons residing abroad.

Rediscount and Advance Interest Rates Has Been Decreased

Turkey's Central Bank has decreased discount interest rates for commercial papers with expiry periods of three months or more. The revised rates are 12.75% for rediscount transactions and 13.75% for advance transactions. The previous rates were 17.25% for rediscount transactions and 18.25% for advance transactions.

II. Amendments

Digital Service Tax and the Amendment of Certain Laws

With the Law No. 7194 published in the Official Gazette dated 7 December 2019 and numbered 30971, three new taxes were issued and some changes were made in the Income Tax Law.

"Digital Services Tax" is introduced. According to the Law, providers of digital services such as advertisement and media services, mobile application sales (games, subscription, movies, etc.), paid services through social media and websites.

"Valuable Housing Tax" is regulated under the Real Estate Tax Law. The tax will be calculated in accordance with the value of residential properties as such;

  • Properties valued between 5.000.000 TL and 7.500.000 TL (3 per thousand),
  • Properties valued between 7,500,001 TL and 10,000,000 TL (6 per thousand),
  • Properties with value exceeding 10,000.001 TL (10 per thousand).

Accommodation services and other services provided with Accommodation services (e.g. dining, activity, leisure services, pool, fitness, spa, thermal area usage services) now are subject to "Accommodation Tax" introduced in the Expense Taxes Law. Accommodation service providers such as hotels, holiday villages, camping are taxpayers of this tax.

Amendments to the Trade Registry Regulation

The Regulation on the Amendment of the Trade Registry Regulation, published in the Official Gazette dated 12 December 2019 and numbered 30976. The regulation contains important amendments in accordance with Article 26 of the Turkish Commercial Code.

According to the regulation, registration procedures in the Trade Registry Directorates can also be made by the authorized personnel.

In the establishment of a joint stock company, the obligation to issue a declaration has been removed.

In accordance with the Regulation, the signature declarations of persons authorized to represent companies will be taken before the trade registry officer accordingly to the TCC, instead of the notary.

It is seen that the mismatches between the Turkish Commercial Code and the Trade Registry Regulation are resolved and bureaucratic procedures are facilitated.

III. Decisions

Using Software/Program/Applications that Allow the Inquiry of Unlawfully Obtained Personal Data

The Personal Data Protection Board, in its decision dated 18.10.2019 and numbered 2019/308, established that using software/program/applications that allow the inquiry of unlawfully obtained personal data is a violation of personal data. According to the findings made by the Board, such softwares are used by law firms and some individuals and organizations operating in sectors such as finance, real estate consultancy and insurance.

In order to prevent any data security violations that may occur, the Board announced that in case of such violation, it will be reported to the office of the Chief Public Prosecutor within the scope of the Turkish Criminal Code. Additionally, an administrative sanction will be established by the Board within the framework of Article 18 of Law No. 6698.

IV. News

Incoterms 2020 Terms

The Incoterms rules published by the International Chamber of Commerce and used in delivery terms in international trade contracts have undergone significant changes. Incoterms 2020 rules, which are prepared to adapt to the rapid growth of the global economy and to facilitate faster access to the world markets, will be applied as of January 1, 2020. Important topics subject to changes can be listed as follows:

  • Due to the increase in security risks, special security measures obligations that the each party must provide have been introduced.
  • Unlike Incoterms 2010, there are also regulations for situations where the parties do not use their own transportation systems.
  • According to the new rules, FCA provides that if the parties have agreed, the buyer must disclose its carrier to issue to the seller a bill of lading stating that the goods have been loaded.
  • It is also regulated that the parties are free to agree on higher or lower coverages in CIF and CIP. Higher and lower coverages are introduced under the Incoterms 2020.

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.