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The General Regulation on Market Surveillance and Inspection of Goods (“Regulation“) entered into force pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 4269 published in the Official Gazette No. 31537 on 10 July 2021. The Regulation contains provisions concerning placing on the market appropriate and safe products aimed at maximizing the protection of the public interest as per the general product safety and technical regulations legislation, the duties and responsibilities of authorized authorities and coordination and cooperation in this field. The Regulation supersedes the Regulation on Market Surveillance and Inspection of Goods, which took effect with the Decision of the Council of Ministers on 13 November 2001. The Regulation is available here (in Turkish).
The regulation includes new definitions to cover technological developments. Accordingly, “any means or medium that allows the conclusion of a contract without physical confrontation, such as letters, catalogues, telephone, fax, radio, television, email message, short message, internet” is defined as a remote communication tool and all products issued to the market, kept on the market or provided as a service on the market are included in the scope of the Regulation.
Additionally, the jobs, powers and responsibilities of the authorized authorities and the obligations of the manufacturers, authorized representatives, importers and distributors are regulated in detail within the scope of the Regulation. Each party is held responsible for product safety in direct proportion to their actions concerning the product issued to the market, kept on the market or provided as a service on the market. Therefore, the Regulation contains rules that aim to ensure that the product is safely issued to the market, to notify the authorized authorities and persons as per the Regulation if the product bears certain risk and, if necessary, to take adequate measures voluntarily or if requested by the authorized authorities.
Moreover, “the manufacturer, the authorized representative, the importer, the distributor or other natural or legal person responsible for the manufacture, placing on the market or putting into service the products within the scope of the relevant technical regulation” is defined as the economic operator. In addition to the responsibilities of the manufacturer, authorized representative, importer and distributor regulated under the Regulation, they have some additional obligations arising from being economic operators. The Regulation sets forth the responsibilities of economic operators such as the following:
- To create a record of the distributors and the amount of the products distributed based on the party, series or lot in order to ensure traceability.
- To cooperate with the authorized authorities and the Ministry of Trade in their activities in order to reduce or eliminate the risks of the products they issue to the market or keep on the market.
- To take the measures required by the legislation regarding products that pose a risk and announce these in line with the Regulation.
The subject Regulation sets forth some essential changes in terms of product safety legislation. Companies working in this field and authorized authorities should carefully examine the changes and take appropriate measures to comply with their new obligations.