The Act on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce ("Act") numbered 6563 has been published in the Official Gazette numbered 29166 on 05.11.2014. The Act which will enter into force on 01.05.2015, mainly regulates the commercial communication, liabilities of service providers, agreements made by electronic means and obligations to provide information regarding electronic commerce.
The Service Provider is described as "the real or legal persons engaging in electronic commerce activity" in the Act.
The Obligation to Provide Information
The Service Provider should present below-mentioned information prior to entering into an agreement by electronic means:
i. up-to-date introductory information of the Service Provider,
ii. technical steps for drawing up the agreement,
iii. whether or not the concluded contract will be preserved by the Service Provider and whether it will be accessible by the recipient,
iv. the information of the technical means related to the determination and correction of the errors in data entry,
v. the privacy rules and information in relation to alternative dispute resolution methods.
The Service Provider should also enable the recipient to preserve the general terms and conditions.
Placing an Order
The Service Provider should procure the terms of the contract and total price to be paid to the recipient prior to placing the order. The Service Provider should further acknowledge that the order of the recipient is received without undue delay by electronic means and submit the appropriate, effective and accessible technical means to the recipient in order to identify and correct input errors prior to placing the order.
In the commercial communication, the information of the real or legal persons on whose behalf the commercial communication is made should be presented.
Any promotional offer such as discount or gift should be clearly identified. The conditions of utilization of such promotions should be accessible and such conditions should be clear
Commercial electronic communications can be sent on condition that consent of the recipients is provided prior to the communication. The consent can be received in written or by all kind of electronic means. The recipients can refuse to receive commercial electronic communications at any time and without any justification.
Protection of Personal Data
Service Provider is responsible for the preservation and protection of personal data and cannot disclose the same to third parties without the consent of related person.
The Act sets forth certain obligations and Service Providers can be exposed to administrative fines varying between 1.000 TL and 15.000 TL (Turkish Lira) in case of the breach of such obligations. Some fines can be applied by increasing the same ten times in case of multiple breaches.
Authority of the Ministry
The Ministry of Customs and Trade is authorized to take all kind of precautions and to conduct inspections related to the implementation of this Act and the improvement of electronic commerce.
The inspectors assigned by the Ministry, is authorized to demand all kind of information, documents and books, to examine the same and to get information in written or oral within the scope of this Act and the related persons is obliged to give demanded information, documents and books and electronic records, to fulfill the information demands.
The Regulations regarding the implementation of the Act shall be prepared by the Ministry of Customs and Trade by receiving the opinions of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Economy along with the Information and Communication Technologies Authority.
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.