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Recent Significant Amendments in the Consumer Protection Law of Turkey

Recent Significant Amendments in the Consumer Protection Law of Turkey

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The Law on the Amendment to the Consumer Protection and Property Ownership Law numbered 7392 [“Amendment Law”] was published in the Official Gazette on April 1, 2022. Most changes will enter into force six months later, i.e., as of September 1, 2022. In this article, we will explain the significant amendments introduced to the Consumer Protection Law No. 6502 ["CPL"] as per the Amendment Law [available in Turkish only].

Amendments in Consumer Loans and Housing Finance

The banks required insurance in loans requested by consumers, and they usually accordingly imposed an insurance policy on the consumers along with the loan agreement. With the amendment, it is now mandatory to provide a loan package that does not include an insurance contract to the consumer. This amendment is intended to prohibit banks from requiring insurance while providing loans.

This amendment has also been implemented in terms of housing finance contracts, with the goal of protecting consumers from ancillary financial products and services, which are a significant cost factor.

Delivery Period of Prepaid Housing Sales Extended

In prepaid house transactions, the maximum transfer or delivery period was increased from 36 months to 48 months from the contract date. As a result, the contractor companies' project completion period is now 48 months.

New Liabilities for E-Commerce Platforms

The Amendment Law regulates the liabilities in distance contracts in which intermediary service providers, such as e-commerce platforms, are parties and in which they are jointly and severally liable with the seller or provider. In this respect, for instance, e-commerce platforms are now jointly and severally liable for confirming and proving to provide preliminary information to the consumer with the seller or provider. Also, intermediary service providers must implement a continuous system to ensure the communication and follow-up of consumer demands regarding the issues set forth in the relevant regulations.

Amendments in After-Sales Services

Manufacturers and importers' liability for after-sales services will no longer be restricted to the warranty period, but rather to the product’s expected life period as determined by the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Turkey. Otherwise, manufacturers and importers will be required to reimburse consumers for their losses. As a result, manufacturers and importers will be jointly liable for any product defects that arise after the expiration of the warranty period.

The Authority of Consumer Arbitral Tribunals Was Expanded

The monetary limit for applications to consumer arbitration committees has been increased by the Amendment Law, and it has been regulated that disputes up to 30,000.00 TRY will be heard in consumer arbitration committees in 2022. Another amendment in favor of the consumer is that if an existing information or document that has not been submitted to the consumer arbitration tribunal is submitted to the consumer court by the objecting party and the decision of the said committee is annulled, no litigation expenses and attorney’s fees will be imposed against the consumer.

Refurbished Products Will Have a 1 Year Warranty

With the Amendment Law, unity has been achieved between the CPL and the Regulation on the Sale of Refurbished Products, and accordingly, it is now mandatory to provide a guarantee of at least one year from the date of delivery to the consumer for products that were refurbished by improving their hardware, software, or physical features and offered for sale.

Penalties are Now More Deterrent

Administrative fines for sellers, manufacturers, importers, and intermediary service providers have been increased, and the penalty of imprisonment has been instituted for breaches of liabilities regarding timeshare vacations. On the other hand, the Board of Advertisement can now decide to block access to content in CPL violations committed by online advertisers.

By Baris Ulker, Senior Associate, and Beliz Boyalikli, Legal Trainee, Guleryuz & Partners

Guleryuz & Partners at a Glance

Güleryüz & Partners Attorneys at Law is an Istanbul based law firm offering a broad scope of high-quality legal services to domestic and multinational clients across a wide range of regulated and non-regulated industries. The Firm is comprised of energetic young professionals, led by experienced lawyers with a proven track record of working in the most demanding environments possible. Our team has comprehensive experience in serving clients in connection with a full breadth of Turkish law matters including Litigation & Dispute Resolution, M&A, Wealth Management & Family Businesses, General Corporate & Contract Law, Real Estate & Construction, Enforcement and Bankruptcy Proceedings, Labor Law, Administrative Law, and Anti-Corruption & White-Collar Crimes. 

Our core business culture is centered on integrity, dedication to clients’ needs, and excellence of legal advice and services. Therefore, our primary objective is to ensure the most personalized and reliable legal service for our clients. In pursuit of this objective, the international academic backgrounds of our partners at prestigious universities in USA, UK and Germany coupled with more than ten years of past experience at top tier Turkish law firms enhances the visionary practice of the Firm.

We blend our practical expertise with our outstanding grasp of legal theory in order to provide our clients with legal services of unmatched quality. Our clients range from multinational companies where we provide a level of attention normally only expected from in-house counsels in order to timely manage every aspect of the clients’ legal needs, to individuals for whom we make their objectives ours in order to provide comfort and ease of life. While we always put client service above all, we are proud to be on a quest to make reliable legal information available for everyone. Hence, we are constantly authoring articles on a broad scope of legal topics for respectable publications including Bloomberg Businessweek and the monthly magazine TR Monitor.

While Güleryüz & Partners operates mainly in Turkish and English, we are capable of providing legal services in French, German and Russian as well. The Firm also has an associated office in Ankara.

You can learn more about the Firm at guleryuz.av.tr