In addition to the obligations of electronic commerce service providers (ECSPs) to provide information and the obligations of electronic commerce intermediary service providers (ECISPs) to provide information and verification, the Regulation also sets out the scope of unlawful content and unfair commercial practices, complaint application procedure of infringement of intellectual and industrial property rights, minimum elements of the intermediary agreement, establishment of an internal operating facility, data use and sharing rules, regulatory compliance report and obligations regarding payment services.
ECISPs were already obliged to verify the identifying information of the ECSPs through the documents provided by the ECSP itself or through the publicly available electronic systems of the relevant institutions. However, with the new changes, to the extent that this verification is not possible, the ECISPs will not be able to work with the relevant ECSP. In addition, the obligation to ensure that this information is up to date has also been imposed on ECISPs. This obligation needs to be fulfilled until 01.01.2024 for ECISPs providing intermediary services before 01.01.2023.
ECISPs are also obliged to designate at least one natural or legal person as a contact point to enable public institutions and organizations to communicate directly with them.
The Regulation also introduces rules on the content of the transaction guide that must be prepared by ECIPs and the ECSPs that conduct sale activity through its own electronic environment, as well as regulations on ordering and order confirmation.
Although the principle that ECISPs will not be liable for unlawful content is maintained, it is regulated that if the ECISP is aware that the content offered by the ECSP is unlawful, it must remove this content from publication within 48 hours at the latest and notify the ECSP and the relevant public institutions and organizations of the unlawfulness with reasoning. In addition, it is ruled that the regulatory compliance report will be prepared as a result of the review that the medium, large and very large-scale ECISPs will conduct every year in order to determine the issues contrary to the Law on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce, the Law on the Protection of Personal Data, the Industrial Property Law and their secondary legislation regarding the content provided by the ECISP.
As for unfair commercial practices in electronic commerce, new examples have been added to the examples given in the Law on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce and some examples are explained.
The complaint application for violation of intellectual and industrial property rights will be made to ECISP via internal communication system, notary public or registered electronic mail, again including the issues specified in the Regulation. Upon receiving the applications containing the matters specified in the Regulation, ECISP is required to remove the product subject to the complaint from publication within 48 hours and notify the ETHS and the right holder. ECSP will be able to object to the complaint as specified in the Regulation. Internal communication system needs to be established until 01.07.2023 and transactions to be carried out through the internal communication system can be carried out by means such as electronic mail until 01.07.2023.
The Regulation also sets out the minimum content of the intermediation agreement to be signed between the ECISP and the ECSP. Until 01.06.2023, the relevant provisions of existing intermediation agreements that are not harmonized with the Regulation will be deemed invalid.
It is also stated that unilateral amendments to be made by the ECISPs shall enter into force within 15 days and in some cases within 30 days from the date of notification to the ECISPs, while the ECSP has the right to terminate without compensation by giving notice in case of amendments to be put into force at the end of the 30-day period. In addition, the ECISPs will request a defense from the ECSP in cases where it is necessary to suspend, restrict or terminate the contract given in the intermediation agreement of the ECISPs. In the event that an explanation is not provided by the ECSP within at least 3 business days or the explanation provided is insufficient, the intermediary service may be suspended, restricted or terminated by notifying the ECSP within 7 business days from the receipt of the explanation by the ECISP, or if no explanation is provided, at the end of the 3rd business day. In cases involving fraud, data breach, cyber security risks, the intermediation service may be immediately restricted, terminated or suspended.
Restrictions are also imposed on payment services in very large-scale ECISPs’ electronic commerce marketplaces and in very large-scale ECSP electronic commerce environments.
In addition, if a very large-scale ECISP and a very large-scale ECSP provide an electronic environment for the publication of advertisements for goods and services, they will not be able to enable the conclusion of contracts or placing orders for the supply of goods or services in the same environment.
The Regulation also details the advertising budget and expenditures, the discount budget and limitations on the discounts that may be offered which entered into force on 01.01.2023.
As can be seen, ECISPs and ECSPs need to make significant preparations and works in order to comply with the new legislation in 2023 and 2024 and to be licensed as of 01.01.2025.