The Law on the Amendment of the Condominium Ownership Law and on the Consumer Protection Law numbered 7392 ("Law") is enacted by being published in the Official Gazette on 01.04.2022, which envisages significant changes expected to be made to Consumer Protection Law numbered 6502. With enactment of the Law, major changes were made in the Consumer Protection Law, and many new different provisions that had not been regulated before, especially as sanctions, were also introduced.
With this amendment, significant changes were made regarding prepaid housing sales contracts, distance sales contracts, intermediary service providers, commercial advertisements, refurbished and re-sold products, and authorized service and special services within the scope of after-sales service. However, these amendments will enter into force as of 01.10.2022
The amended provisions are summarized as follows:
Taking into account the developments in the e-commerce sector, responsibilities are imposed on intermediary service providers in distance sales contracts to which consumers are a party. Intermediary service providers will be responsible for the following:
- establishing an uninterrupted system where consumers can submit and follow their notifications and demands throughout the usage period of the rights and obligations arising from the distance contracts established through the system,
- providing and confirming preliminary information to the consumer, and proving this jointly and individually with the seller or the supplier
- for the deficiencies in the preliminary information determined by the regulation except for the cases where the data entry is made by the seller or the supplier, ,
- keeping records of the transactions of the consumers with the sellers or suppliers and, if requested, giving this information to the relevant public institutions and organizations and consumers,
- from transactions in which they cause, by their practices, the seller or supplier to violate their obligations to the contract regarding the intermediary service,
- for the right to withdraw from the obligations regarding the delivery or performance jointly and individually, if the intermediary service provider collects a price on behalf of the seller or the supplier, excluding the cases where the payment is transferred to the seller or the supplier upon the delivery or performance of the goods or services, and the optional rights granted to the consumer regarding the defective goods and services, ,
- Failure to perform the contract at all or as required in sales with campaigns, promotions, or discounts without the approval of the seller or supplier,
- Compliance and proof of the matters in the preliminary information and the information in the advertisements,
2. Distance Sales Contracts
By making an exception to the provision that the delivery time of the goods cannot exceed thirty days from the moment the seller or the supplier receives the order of goods that subject to distance sales contracts, this period will no longer find application in the contracts regarding the goods prepared in line with the consumer's request, or personal need.
3. Refurbished Products:
Since it is aimed by lawmakers to bring refurbished products back to the economy, especially in the electronics sector, some new regulations have been envisaged in this area. Refurbished products which have not been defined before in Consumer Protection Law are defined as "used goods that are offered for resale by improving their hardware, software, or physical properties" and some new regulations have been introduced regarding the sale of these products.
It is obligatory to issue a guarantee at least one year from the date of delivery of these products to the consumer. However, the products to be determined by the Regulation on the Sale of Refurbished Products can only be sold as refurbished products, provided that they are renewed in centers authorized by the Ministry of Commerce. Renovation centers will be required to obtain a certificate of authorization from the Ministry of Commerce. If it is necessary to verify that products such as used mobile phones that will be renewed are registered to the Central Device Registration System, the Ministry, renovation centers and authorized buyer can make this verification from the records of the Information Technologies and Communications Authority.
4. After-Sales Services:
With amendment made by the Law, for consumers to access accurate and up-to-date authorized service station information of companies, and not to be aggrieved by any deceptive practice, it has become obligatory to keep updated information on authorized service stations in the system created by the Ministry of Commerce. Service stations operating independently of any manufacturer or importer are required to use the name "special service" in a way that can be easily seen and read in all kinds of media and activities. If the after-sales service is not provided by the manufacturer or importer during the service life determined by the Ministry of Commerce, after the warranty period expires, the consumer will be able to claim compensation for the damage. Goods that require after-sales service, a minimum number of authorized service stations to be established, maximum repair times, responsibilities of service stations, and other application procedures and principles will be determined by the Regulation on After Sales Services.
5. Commercial Advertisements
Commercial Advertisements are regulated in Article 61 of the Consumer Protection Law. Within the scope of the amendment introduced by the Law, the authority of the Advertisement Board have been considerably expanded in case of violation of the Article 61. Namely, in addition to the previously granted authority to give administrative fines, the Board of Advertisement has been granted the authority to block access to a commercial advertisement on the internet that is contrary to the Consumer Protection Law. If the authorization to block access cannot be implemented by the Advertisement Board, it is regulated by the Law that this decision can be sent to the Access Providers Association in accordance with law numbered 5651 and implemented in this way. Obviously, this issue raises the concerns that the decisions of the Board of Advertisement will bring a strict control especially in internet advertisements.
6. Consumer Arbitral Tribunals
As per the Law, the scope of the Consumer Arbitral Tribunals has been expanded, new procedural rules have been introduced for the resolution of consumer disputes and upper limit for disputes in which the consumer arbitral tribunals has authority has been increased to 30,000 TRY. Electronic notification is provided for the documents that need to be notified in disputes in consumer arbitral tribunals.
7. Fines and Sanctions
To summarize the new sanctions introduced by the Law, according to the table;
|Consumer Protection Law – Article 8||If the ordered goods are not delivered or mounted on time; an administrative fine of 615 TL shall be imposed|
|Consumer Protection Law – Article 44||In prepaid housing sales contracts, if the house is not delivered within the committed period or in any case within 48 (forty-eight) months, an administrative fine of 70,000.00 TL shall be imposed to seller for each house.|
|Consumer Protection Law – Article 48||
The lawmakers made a distinction according to the contradictions to the paragraphs of the relevant article; accordingly if the system required to be installed by the intermediary service providers in the fifth paragraph is not established an administrative fine of 1,000,000,00 TL shall be imposed, and in case other paragraphs are not complied with, an administrative fine of 615 TRY shall be imposed.
|Consumer Protection Law – Article 57/A||If the Renewal Authorization Certificate is not obtained, an administrative fine of 500,000 TRY shall be imposed, furthermore if any deficiencies or contradictions are detected during the inspections, an administrative fine of 500,00 TRY shall be imposed for each deficiencies or contradictions.|
|Consumer Protection Law – Article 58||
Failure to Obtain After-Sales Service Qualification Certificate: 315.000 TRY
Not Registering in the System: 5.000 TRY
Failure to Provide the Minimum Number of Services : 35,000 TRY
Deficiencies in Service Stations: for each service station 5.000 TRY
Service stations operating independently of any manufacturer or importer do not use the phrase "special service" in a way that can be easily seen and read in all kinds of media and activities: 5,000,00 TRY
administrative fines shall be imposed.
|Consumer Protection Law – Article 75||If audit obligations are not fulfilled, relevant individuals shall be given notices to create a suitable environment for audit and to prepare relevant information and documents within seven days. If this warning is not complied with, an administrative fines of 1% of total gross income, with a minimum limit of 80.000 TRY shall be imposed. In cases where gross income is not reported or misrepresented, the penalty amount shall be TRY 3.000.000.|
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.