Newsletter on Electric Scooter Regulation
The “Electric Scooter Regulation” (“Regulation“) entered into force with the Official Gazette No. 31454 published on 14.04.2021 by the Ministries of Transport and Infrastructure, Environment and Urbanization and Interior Affairs (“Ministry“).
This Regulation regulates the activities of shared electric scooter’s (e-scooter) management, the rights and obligations for e-scooters used on highway and for shared e-scooters operators, beneficiaries and the drivers.
- General Considerations Regarding E-Scooter Usage and Management
Under article 5 of the Regulation, the rules that e-scooter drivers must follow during their rides are specified. As a reference, it is forbidden to drive e-scooters on pedestrian roads, ride on separate bike paths, drive on highways and main roads over 50 km/h, and drive by way of connecting to the motor vehicles. In addition, it has been stipulated that no other person other than the driver can be carried on the e-scooter and that cargo and personal belongings cannot be placed on the scooters. In addition, related to the equipment of the scooter, during night drives it is obligatory to have the headlights, red lights and sound tool such as horns at the back of the scooter.
Article 6 of the regulation regulates the general considerations of “shared e-scooter management”. According to this article, only real or legal persons who obtain authorization certificate and shared e-scooter permission will be able to carry out shared e-scooter management activities. Again, those who receive a authorization certificate should not cause unfair competition during the provision of services and will carry out their activities in a way that does not adversely affect public and environmental health and their safety, disability accessibility and traffic safety in general.
- Provisions related to Authorization Certificate and E-Scooter Permit
i. Authorization Certificate
In accordance with articles 7 and 8 of the Regulation, general and special conditions for obtaining authorization certificate and e-scooter permit are regulated. Authorization certificate can only be obtained if these conditions are provided together. Amongst the general conditions, real persons must be Turkish nationals. Legal persons must be established in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Turkey and registered in the trade registries and they should also be ongoing taxpayers and be registered before trade/industry/artisans chambers. Further, they should become a member of the e-notification system and deposit a relevant fee of TRY 10,000. Amongst these conditions, it is also stated that foreign real and legal persons can also be given authorization certificate if they fulfill the terms of the Regulation together with the provisions of the Foreign Direct Investment Law.
As special conditions, having a share capital of TRY 500.000, having a website and mobile applications whose standards will be determined by the Ministry, keeping the database within the borders of the Republic of Turkey and being accessible by the Ministry, having at least 250 e-scooter, some quality certificates (TS ISO/IEC 27001, ISO 45001) are enlisted.
All of the special conditions and the general conditions of being a taxpayer, the obligation to register in the chambers and the preservation of the e-notification membership are a precondition for the non-cancellation of the authorization document. If these conditions are lost and cannot be completed within 90 days, the relevant activity will temporarily be suspended.
For those who would like to have or renew their authorization certificates shall apply to the Ministry with the evidencing documents which indicate that they fulfill all of the general and special conditions. The duration of the authorization documents is 5 years.
ii. Shared E-Scooter Permit
According to article 11 of the Regulation, it is stated that the population in each district that will be permitted in metropolitan cities can be given an e-scooter permit in a way that it will be up to one-200th (1/200) of the municipal population in non-metropolitan areas. This number can be increased up to 50% due to reasons such as seasonal or periodical increase in demand for use. Each authorization certificate holder is granted an e-scooter permit, provided that it does not exceed one fifth of the number of e-scooters. These restrictions will not be applied to airports, university campuses, hospitals, national parks and similar areas regulated by special laws. The work and transactions regarding the granting of e-scooters permit for these areas are carried out by the relevant institutions / businesses.
Real or legal persons who have obtained a authorization certificate apply for permission for e-scooter to be used in their activities by paying the occupation fee from the Metropolitan Municipality Transportation Coordination Centers (“MMTCC“) or from the provincial traffic commission in the provinces where there is no metropolitan municipality for the e-scooter to be used in their activities. By MMTCC and provincial traffic commissions, e-scooter numbers, the maximum number of e-scooter permits that each authorization document holder can apply for, areas where e-scooters will not be used, the application process and other requirements that can be requested shall be announced on the website of the relevant institutions at least 10 days before the application.
Applications are evaluated by the administration within 60 days. As a result of this evaluation; in cases where the number of e-scooter permits requested is higher than the number of e-scooters; e-scooter permissions shall be granted equally amongst the applicants holding authorization certificates in proportion to the numbers they have requested. In cases where the number of e-scooter requested is lower than the number of e-scooters; additional requests, if any, are received by MMTCC or provincial traffic commissions, whichever is the related party, within 6 months after the issuance of e-scooter permits.
The authorized holders on whose behalf the e-scooter permits have been issued; shall ensure that the e-scooters being put in the field within 45 days as of the date of issuance of the permit. The duration of the e-scooter permit is 2 years.
- Split-off, Merger, Change of Type and Service Agreement
As per article 14 of the Regulation, in the event of a split-off of the legal entity who was holding an authorization certificate, the authorization certificate given to the legal entity can only be given to
one of the newly emerged legal entities. Again, in the event that the legal entity with a certificate of authorization merges with another legal entity, an authorization certificate is issued again on behalf of the legal entity after the merger. Similarly, in case of a change of type, a new authorization certificate is given to the new legal entity.
According to article 15 of the Regulation, the authorization certificate holders are obliged to make a contract with the beneficiaries electronically and to have certain conditions in this contract (such as the name/title of the authorization certificate holder, the authorization certificate number, address, tax identification number, Turkish identity number for real persons).
- Obligations of Authorization Certificate Holders and Rights of Beneficiaries
Within the scope of Article 16 of the Regulation, a number of obligations consisting of 18 paragraphs have been imposed on authorization certificate holders. Some important obligations are: (i) the ability to operate only within the boundaries of the municipality/region for which they obtain permission, (ii) the obligation to notify the Ministry of changes such as change in company’s capital, title or address, (iii) compliance with the Law on Protection of Personal Data, (iv) providing mobile/internet training services to users, (v) obtaining TSE Certificate for at least 30% of e-scooters, (vi) not to have less than 70% of the total number of e-scooters (40% in November-February period) and not to have more than 130% of the total number of e-scooters in the district/region where they operate, provided that they do not exceed the total number of e-scooter permits issued within the province in which they operate, (vii) provision of call center services and related mobile application services.
In accordance with the Regulation, it is also stated that the beneficiaries of the e-scooter service have the rights arising from the provisions of the Consumer Protection Law No. 6502.
- Audit and Administrative Sanctions
Under the Regulation, the activities of authorization certificate holders are subject to the audit of the Ministry. Authorization certificate holders are obliged to submit the documents requested by those in charge of the audit. The ministry and municipal inspection units are the ones who is authorized to carry out such audit.
In general, administrative fines in the range of TRY 1,000 – TRY 10,000 are applied against those who violate the provisions and obligations of the Regulation, varying as per each type of the breach.
In the event that the authorization certificate holders violate the obligation of not to have more than 130% e-scooters and not to have less than 70% e-scooters of the total number of e-scooters (applied as 40% in November-February period) in the district/region in which they operate; in the first violation, an administrative fine of TRY 1,000 will be imposed, while in the second violation there will be an administrative fine of TRY 10,000 and for the third it will reach to 50,000 TL. Additionally, in the third violation, its activities will be temporarily suspended for 6 months.
In the event that more than one violation is committed at the same time, separate administrative fines will be imposed for each breach. Again, administrative fines will be applied separately for each e-scooter. The temporary suspension or cancellation of the activities within the scope of the breach of the Regulation will be effective on the 30th day following the notification date of the said breach to the authorized person.