The Regulation on Commercial Advertisements and Unfair Commercial Practices (“Regulation”) was amended on February 3, 2021. The amendment will enter into force on April 1, 2021.
Within the scope of the amendment, a new misleading commercial practice has been added to the section titled “A-Misleading Commercial Practices” in the Annex titled “Sample Practices Considered Unfair Commercial Practices” of the Regulation.
Pursuant to the amendment made in the Regulation, “misleading packaging practices which give the impression that no change has been made on one of the numbers, length, weight, area, volume measures and similar elements of a product offered to customers although the same have been changed in a way to differentiate the unit price of the product” will be deemed as misleading commercial practices.
According to the announcement of the Ministry of Commerce regarding this matter, a regulation has been adopted to prevent hidden price hike practices which victimize consumers, especially by reducing weight, number and similar elements in food, basic consumption, cosmetics and cleaning products. In this way, for example, misleading packaging practices in relation to products, which continue to be sold only by increasing the unit price thereof, without making any differentiation in the package and change in the sale price of the same after the weight of the product is reduced, have been included within the scope of the misleading practices and have been prohibited, considering that such practices cause consumers not to notice the weight reduction in products sold with similar package and a tacit increase in the price.
What will be the sanction of the said misleading practice?
Those who engage in unfair commercial practices, including misleading packaging practices introduced pursuant to the amendment, will be sanctioned with a precautionary suspension of the unfair commercial practice up to three months or suspension of the unfair commercial practice or an administrative fine of TL 11,429 (as per the relevant Communiqué Regarding Administrative Fines to be applied in 2021). Depending on the nature of the violation, penalties can be given together or separately. In case the violation occurs throughout the country, the administrative fine will be applied as TL 114,326 (as per the relevant Communiqué Regarding Administrative Fines to be applied in 2021). If the violation is made through advertising, sanctions in relation to commercial advertisements will be applied.