Türkiye Raises Threshold for Consumer Courts in 2023
Consumer complaints against sellers and manufacturers may be brought before Turkish consumer courts only if the amount in dispute is above a certain threshold. These thresholds are determined shortly before the beginning of each calendar year. Consumer complaints below the jurisdictional thresholds may only be brought before a consumer arbitral tribunal. Through the Communiqué on Raising the Monetary Limits Set Forth in Article 68 of Law No. 6502 on the Protection of Consumers and Article 6 of the Consumer Arbitral Tribunals Regulation, Türkiye set the threshold for 2023, raising it by 122.93%.
Any consumer complaints below TRY 66,000 (approximately USD 3,538) must be submitted to consumer arbitral tribunals, whereas those above the threshold must be submitted to consumer courts.
Türkiye Increases Fines for Consumer Law Violations in 2023
Effective 1 January 2023, higher fines will be imposed for certain violations under the Law No. 6502 on Protection of Consumers (“Consumer Protection Law“). The fines will increase by 122.93% from 2022.
In particular, companies that:
- Used unfair terms or failed to use 12-point bold type with clear language in consumer agreements; failed to provide a guarantee certificate; or failed to provide explicit and legible safety information to consumers for goods deemed potentially harmful to consumers or the environment will be subject to a fine of TRY 1,371 (approximately USD 73) per violation.
- Failed to comply with the obligations on consumer loan and housing finance agreements and agreements concluded outside the workplace will be subject to a fine of TRY 6,928 (approximately USD 371) per agreement or transaction.
- Made deceptive or misleading representation through mass media advertising will be subject to a fine ranging from TRY 34,701 to 1,388,526 (approximately USD 1,860 to 74,445) per violation.
If a consumer fails to submit their complaint to the competent consumer arbitral tribunal or consumer court, which is determined based on the monetary value of the claim, their application will be rejected. Also, companies should take note of the updated fines and their effects on their operations in Türkiye, and take steps to ensure compliance with the Consumer Protection Law.