The Law No. 7223 on Product Safety and Technical Regulations (the “Law”), which was prepared within the framework of compliance with the European Union and was adopted by the Turkish Parliament on 5 March 2020 will become effective on 12 March 2021.
The Law aims to ensure the safety of products and their compliance with technical regulations and to introduce obligations on manufacturers, authorized representatives, importers, distributors or other persons who are responsible for manufacturing and marketing of the product (“Commercial Operators”).
I. Scope of the Law
The Law covers all the products which are aimed to be presented to the market and the ones that are already in the market. Also, the Law covers the products which are (i) exported to the members of the European Union or (ii) targeted to be exported to such members. Accordingly, the products exported or targeted to be exported to the countries other than the members of the European Union are out of scope of the Law.
II. Obligations of Commercial Operators
Among other obligations regarding product safety, compliance with technical regulations, product recalls, certification, as per Article 12 of the Law titled “Traceability”, Commercial Operators should regularly keep the records of the trade name, trademark or brand and contact information of the previous and next (if any) Commercial Operator in the supply chain in addition to other information that will facilitate the follow-up of the product for at least 10 (ten) years as of the supply of the product to the market. This obligation is also applicable to those supplying a product to the market in an electronic environment, intermediary service providers providing an electronic commerce environment that allows third parties to conduct their economic and commercial activities, and media service providers such as radio and television.
The Law also brings specific obligations stipulated according to the type of Commercial Operator.
III. Product Liability Compensation
Pursuant to Article 6 of the Law titled “Product Liability Compensation”, in case of damage to the product or a person as a result of the product, the manufacturer and the importer of the product shall be responsible for damages. In case there is more than one manufacturer or importer, they shall be jointly and severally held responsible. The relevant clauses of contracts relieving the manufacturer or importer from the product liability compensation or limiting such liability shall be null and void.
In the event that the manufacturer, authorized representative or importer of a product cannot be identified, the distributor which does not provide the name and contact information of these Commercial Operators or of the previous Commercial Operator of the product in the supply chain within 10 (ten) business days as of the notification date of such request by the party who suffers the damage, shall be deemed a manufacturer and shall be liable for the product liability compensation under Article 11 of the Law.
- Access Ban
If a non-compliant product supplied to the market or available in the market is promoted and sold on the internet, the competent authority will notify the intermediary service providers for removal of the content via e-mail or other communication methods obtained from its websites, domain name, IP address, and similar medium. In case the content is not removed by the intermediary service provider within 24 (twenty four) hours, the competent authority will decide to ban access to the content in respect of the non-compliant product and will notify the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA) for implementation of this decision. The decision of access ban will be implemented by way of blocking access to the content (URL etc.). If the website is directly owned by the Commercial Operator, the same rules will apply.
Likewise, if a non-compliant product is promoted and sold on television or radio, the competent authority will request the media service providers to cease the promotion and sale. The media service providers are expected to cooperate with the competent authority. The decision of ceasing the promotion and sale will be notified to the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) by the competent authority.
2. Administrative Fines
Article 20 of the Law imposes administrative fines from TL 7,000 up to TL 500,000 in case of failure to comply with the relevant provisions of the Law. Additionally, other administrative fines which will be calculated based on sample prices and FOB (Incoterms Free on Board) prices of the respective products are stipulated for violation of certain provisions of the Law.