On 17 April 2021, the Workplace Opening and Operation License Regulation (“Regulation“) was amended with Presidential Decree No. 3835, published in Official Gazette No. 31457. The new amendment brings certain changes to the Workplace Opening and Operation License (“License“) application process. The amendments are available here (in Turkish).
The recent amendment introduces “Industrial Zone” and “Technology Development Zone” as new definitions in the Regulation. Industrial Zone signifies industry areas established pursuant to Industrial Zone Law No. 4737 in order to increase production and technology transfers. Technology Development Zone indicates areas established pursuant to Technology Development Zone Law No. 4691 for high technology companies that operate by taking advantage of resources of universities, high technology institutes or R&D centers. Workplaces that will operate in these zones will now be able to apply for a License for these specific areas.
The application procedure for licenses in relation to public entertainment and recreation venues has changed. According to the new rule, bars, restaurants, pubs and similar venues that serve and provide alcohol as well as tobacco products for hookah will first receive an unascertained license. Their license will become definite once they submit the necessary permits to the competent authority (e.g., the municipality in which the workplace is located) within one month of obtaining the indefinite license. If the relevant permits are not submitted within the time given, the competent authority will cancel the unascertained license. The competent authority varies depending on the authorized authority for license applications in the region where the workplace is located.
Change to the license application process
According to the Regulation, first-class non-sanitary enterprises are subject to a set of compliance audits by the competent authority within one month of their license application. If the competent authority detects any non-compliance between their physical state and the application form, the relevant enterprise will be granted a period of up to one year to resolve the non-compliance. According to the recent amendment in the Regulation, the competent authority will conduct further audits to supervise the enterprise during this period. If the competent authority detects any non-compliance with the legislation due to a fault attributed to the license applicant, the license applicant will have 15 days to ensure compliance. If the non-compliance is not resolved within the time given, the license applicant will receive an administrative fine. In addition, the competent authority will also decide on ceasing the operation until the non-compliance is fixed.
The new amendments constitute essential changes to the Regulation. Parties who will apply for a new License should carefully review the amended Regulation and follow further developments in the area.