On January 4, 2020, the Message Management System (“IYS”), which aims to collect all opt-in consents in a single database accessible both by the service providers and the recipients was introduced. The deadline for service providers' registration with IYS and transferring opt-in consents of recipients to IYS by integrating their systems with IYS, has been extended to December 1st, 2020 with the Regulation on the Amendment of the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages published on August 8th, 2020. The deadline for recipients reviewing and checking the consent declarations which are uploaded by service providers has been also extended to January 16th, 2021.
After December 1st, 2020; recipients will have approximately 45 days to check their previous opt-in consents uploaded to IYS until January 16th, 2021. If recipients do not revoke their consents on IYS until January 16th, commercial electronic messages that will be sent after this date will be accepted as valid.
Additionally, due to the fact that January 16th, 2021 is the date of effect for their obligations, this date has significance for the intermediary service providers. According to Article 11 of the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages (“Regulation”), intermediary service providers;
- must harmonize their systems relating to sending commercial electronic messages, with IYS.
- must not send commercial electronic messages for the service providers that is not registered with IYS.
- must check whether the recipients have consent before starting to send commercial electronic messages and must not send commercial electronic messages to the recipients who do not have opt-in consent in IYS.
At the same time, according to Article 15 of the Regulation, an intermediary service provider who starts to send messages with the instruction of the service provider, must reply to the information and document requests regarding messages which are subject to a complaint application within 15 days, via IYS.
On the other hand, the intermediary service provider is not obliged to perform the abovementioned obligations for the commercial electronic messages that are sent through electronic mail pursuant to Article 17/A of the Regulation.
All service providers who send commercial electronic messages to recipients are obliged to register with IYS. Ministry of Trade's statement on the scope of this obligation is as follows; Whether located in Turkey or not, service providers which send commercial electronic messages shall be obliged to comply with Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages and register to IYS. However, the registration process is different for service providers who are located in and outside of Turkey. If the service provider has a MERSIS number, the registration application shall be made through an “E-Devlet Account” (an account provided to Turkish citizens for access to government services online) or an e-signature (obtained from any of the licensed electronic certificate issuers in Turkey). In the case that the service provider does not have a MERSIS number (for foreign service providers), it is required to submit the following documentation: (i) circular of signature - certificate of authority, (ii) apostilled trade registry certificate/commercial activity certificate. The mentioned documents will be sent to IYS' contact address, and IYS will get in contact with the company for the next steps of the registration process. However, the registration process is only in Turkish, and IYS does not offer foreign language options right now. Therefore, it is recommended that the registration process is managed through a Turkish representative for the registration process to be more proper.
Consequently, while the deadline (December 1st, 2020) is coming closer; most particularly, the service providers should complete their registration on IYS and transfer the consents of recipients to IYS.
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.