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The Law on the Amendment to the Consumer Protection Law and Property Ownership Law (“Law“), introducing significant changes to Consumer Protection Law No. 6502, was published in the Official Gazette on 1 April 2022.
Save for the amendments regarding time-share vacation, which entered into effect on 1 April 2022, the other provisions will enter into effect in less than two months, on 1 October 2022.
What to Expect?
As of 1 October 2022, the amendments regarding consumer and residential loans, default in installment sales contracts, responsibilities of intermediary service providers, prepaid housing sales, resale of products whose economic life has expired, service stations and after-sales services, dispute resolution and administrative fines will be in force.
The Law is available online here (in Turkish). Our alert about these amendments is available here.
The main amendments envisaged in the Law are as follows:
- Installment sales: For a consumer’s entire debt to become due upon their default in installment sales contracts rather than the remaining amount, total debt in the contact will be considered when evaluating whether the conditions for the consumer’s default are fulfilled.
- Consumer loan: In consumer loan agreements, paying the entire loan within the withdrawal period will be considered as exercising the right of withdrawal. The amendments also introduce new requirements regarding the obligation to notify interest rate changes in indefinite term loan agreements and offering credit-linked insurance as a package with the loan.
- Housing finance and prepaid housing sales: The conditions for insurance and other subsidiary financial products in consumer loans are also stipulated for housing finance. The maximum delivery period for prepaid housing sales was increased to 48 months from the contract date.
- E-commerce: The circumstances in which intermediary service providers are jointly and severally liable with the seller or the provider for issues such as the establishment of the system for consumers to submit and follow their requests and notifications, provision of preliminary information to consumers, delivery or performance and the obligations regarding the right of withdrawal are regulated. In addition, the maximum delivery period of 30 days for e-commerce will not be applied to contracts regarding goods prepared specifically for the request or needs of the consumer.
- Refurbished products: For refurbished goods, at least a one-year warranty will be provided, starting from the date of delivery to the consumer. The products determined by the regulation can be offered for sale again, if they are renewed in the centers authorized by the Ministry of Trade (“Ministry“). Verification regarding the use and registration of the goods with electronic identity information can be made by the Ministry, renewal centers and authorized buyers via the Information Technologies and Communications Authority’s records.
- After-sales services: Information regarding the after-sales service stations will be registered in the system to be established by the Ministry, and the service stations will use the term “special service” in all their activities and channels. If, upon expiry of the warranty period, after-sales services will not be provided during the lifespan determined by the Ministry, consumers will be able to claim compensation for damages from the manufacturer or importer.
- Consumer arbitral tribunals: For 2022, the upper limit of the disputes in which the consumer arbitral tribunals are in charge will be increased from TRY 15,430 to TRY 30,000. Consumers will be able to apply to the local district governor’s office if there is no consumer arbitral tribunal in the domicile or place where the transaction was executed. An objection to the consumer arbitral tribunal’s decision can also be made before the consumer courts in the consumer’s residence. In addition, no litigation expenses and attorney fees will be awarded against the consumer if the decision is annulled due to the submission of information or a document to the consumer court that was not presented to the consumer arbitral tribunal.
- Fines: The Law increases administrative fines set forth in the Law. Significantly, if the violation occurs on the internet, the Advertisement Board may decide to block access to the broadcast, section or part where the violation occurred. The Advertisement Board can also block access to the entire website if it is technically impossible to block access to the infringing content or to prevent the violation by only blocking access to the relevant content.
As of 1 October 2022, the amendments that expand the intermediary service providers’ responsibilities, regulate refurbished products’ launch into the market, introduce additional obligations to manufacturers and importers regarding after-sales services and authorize the Advertisement Board to block access in cases of violations via the internet will be in force. All stakeholders must ensure compliance with the amendments until the effective date.