The Ministry of Trade (“Ministry”) recently announced on its website the restructure of consumer boards’ organization; which entails closing down of 800 consumer boards as of August 1, 2019. The powers of the remaining 211 consumer boards will be increased.
The Ministry announced that the establishment of the Consumer Information System (tr. “TÜBİS”), which has considerably facilitated the operation of consumer boards, has necessitated certain actions to restructure consumer boards.
In this scope, the Ministry announced that as of August 1, 2019, 800 consumer boards will no longer be operational and the jurisdictional power of the remaining 211 consumer boards will be increased to compensate the workload resulted by the restructuring. The Ministry highlighted that this restructuring process will not affect consumers’ right to seek their rights before consumer boards, and that they can still apply to consumer boards through TÜBİS. In addition, liaison offices will continue to assist consumers within the jurisdictions where a consumer board is not established.
TÜBİS will track the number of applications made to the consumer boards. Should this result in excessive workload, the Ministry can increase the number of consumer boards.
The restructuring of the consumer boards is expected to bring a significant change to the consumer protection process in Turkey. In particular, the Ministry will closely observe the effects of the notable decrease in the number of the consumer boards on the channels where consumers can seek their rights and the workload of the consumer boards. Therefore, companies should carefully follow the Ministry’s upcoming developments and announcements regarding consumer boards.