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The Ministry of Trade (“Ministry“) introduced new regulations upon the repeal of the Regulation on Market Surveillance and Inspection published in the Official Gazette on 1 April 2020. The newly published Regulation on Market Surveillance and Inspection of Goods (“Regulation“) sets forth the procedures and principles regarding market surveillance to ensure that consumer products are safe and comply with the relevant technical regulations.
The Regulation, which entered into force after being published in the Official Gazette on 9 February 2022, aims to introduce amendments to ensure compliance with Law No. 7223 on Product Safety and Technical Regulations as well as the General Product Safety Regulation.
The Regulation is available online here (in Turkish).
The main amendments introduced with the Regulation are as follows:
Regulations on product inspection
- A product inspection can be conducted by the Ministry wherever it is deemed necessary, and necessary information, documents and records can be requested from economic operators as part of the inspection. If the inspection is conducted at the distributor’s workplace, the title and address of the manufacturer, authorized representative, importer or previous economic operator in the supply chain will be determined.
- Regional directorates will conduct market surveillance and inspection activities in accordance with the procedures and principles to be established by the general directorate of consumer protection and market surveillance (“General Directorate“). Surveillance and inspection activities can be conducted through (i) an examination of information and documents related to the product, (ii) a sensory examination, (iii) sampling, (iv) an on-site inspection, (v) testing and (vi) informing the economic operator.
- Regional directorates will establish a risk assessment commission that will make decisions regarding administrative sanctions to be imposed. Regional directorates are also entitled to temporarily suspend supply of products to the market provided that there are indications of a serious risk associated with the product.
- The risk commission will evaluate the risks associated with the product and determine the sanction to be applied in the case of noncompliance. Such evaluation will be made in light of the General Product Safety Regulation, guidelines prepared by the General Directorate as well as the decisions, guidelines and reports of the European Union.
Regulations on voluntary measures
- Upon detection of noncompliance by an economic operator, voluntary measures such as the following can be taken:
- Suspending the product’s supply to and preventing its placement in the market
- Withdrawing the product
- Recalling the product
- Notifying distributors in relation to such measures and
- Warning consumers about the risks associated with the product
- Economic operators should apply to the regional directorate prior to taking voluntary measures.
- Administrative sanctions will not be imposed on the economic operators, provided that the noncompliance is completely eliminated by voluntary measures.
Situations where the manufacturer’s obligations apply to other economic operators
- Importers and distributors will be responsible like the manufacturer in cases where the product is (i) placed on the market under the importers’ and distributors’ own names or trademarks or (ii) changed in a way that affects its compliance.
- The distributors will be responsible like the manufacturer if the distributor cannot provide the name and contact information of the manufacturer, authorized representative, importer or the previous economic operator within 10 business days upon notification.
Regulations on traceability
- As well as economic operators, intermediary service providers and media service providers are required to keep the records of information regarding the previous and subsequent economic operator in the supply chain for at least 10 years from the date the product is placed or made available on the market.
- Economic operators are required to keep a record of the information regarding the product and its distribution on the basis of party, batch or lot number to be used when corrective measures must be taken.
The Regulation has been updated to comply with the recent changes in the product safety legislation. Additionally, in light of today’s developments in the field of e-commerce, intermediary service providers and media service providers are also covered within the scope of the Regulation. Companies working in this field should carefully examine the changes and take the necessary steps to comply with the new requirements.