Newsletter on the Amendments to the Law on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce
With the Law on the Amendment of the Law on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce published in the Official Gazette on 07.07.2022, some changes have been made in the Law on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce (“Law”).
In addition to the service provider definitions specified in the Law, the definitions of electronic commerce intermediary service provider and electronic commerce service provider have been added. Also, “net transaction volume”, “economic integrity”, “electronic commerce marketplace”, “electronic commerce environment” have been defined.
A number of obligations have been imposed on electronic commerce intermediary service providersdepending on their net transaction volume. Namely;
- Electronic commerce intermediary service providers with a net transaction volume of more than ten billion TRY in a calendar year are obliged to obtain an electronic commerce license. Electronic commerce intermediary service providers at this level are obliged to have certain limitations on data usage, to not allow transitions between environments, to notify share changes and to submit reports prepared by the independent audit firm to the Ministry.
- Advertising and promotion spending restrictions and obligations not to restrict the activities of e-commerce service providers have been imposed on e-commerce service intermediary service providers with a net transaction volume of more than thirty billion TRY in a calendar year and a transaction number of more than one hundred thousand, excluding cancellations and refunds.
- In addition to the restrictions on electronic currency and banking activities and the obligation not to allow transitions between environments, some activity restrictions have been imposed to electronic commerce service intermediary service providers with a net transaction volume of sixty billion TRY in a calendar year and a transaction number of more than one hundred thousand, excluding cancellations and refunds.
Some obligations are related to all electronic commerce intermediary service providers, and these are briefly as follows:
- Removal of illegal content
- Not to offer their own brands for sale
- Submitting and verifying the information of electronic commerce service providers
- Not to use the brands of electronic commerce service providers for promotional purposes
- Not engaging in unfair commercial practices in electronic commerce.
High amounts of administrative fines are foreseen in case of violation of the obligations specified in the law.
Separate obligations for electronic commerce service providers have not been determined, and it has been stated that the obligations of electronic commerce intermediary service providers can be applied by analogy. However, it has been determined that electronic commerce service providers cannot use their registered trademark, which is the main element of the domain name registered in the Electronic Commerce Information System, in search engines, in marketing and promotion activities, unless the positive declaration of will is received in writing or electronically. It should be noted that the obligations regarding electronic commerce service providers will not be applied to electronic commerce service providers that obtain half of their sales from sales other than electronic commerce.
It is stated that the regulations brought into the Law will enter into force on 01.01.2023, with the exceptions of the following:
The Additional Article 2/3(a) and (b), which stipulate advertising and promotion spending limits, will be applied to the net transaction volumes of 2022, as of 01.01.2023
The Additional Article 2/2(b) provision on data portability and the Additional Article 2/10 stipulating the obligation to notify the Ministry, and the Additional Article 4, as of 01.01.2024
The obligations regarding obtaining an electronic commerce license must be fulfilled as of 01.01.2025 and it is stated that compliance must be ensured until 01.01.2024 regarding the additional Article 2 1(a), which prohibits the sale of electronic commerce intermediary service providers’ own brands, the provisions of Article 2/4(a) and ( b) which restricts activites related to banking and electronic currency and Article 2/4(c) which imposes an activity limitation on transportation works.
In addition, it has been stated that the brokerage agreements (concluded between intermediary service providers and service providers in electronic commerce marketplaces) before the aforementioned amendments come into force must be brought into compliance with the Law within 6 months.
 Electronic commerce intermediary service provider is defined as an intermediary service provider in an electronic commerce marketplace that enables the execution of contracts or placing orders for the supply of goods or services of electronic commerce service providers. Electronic commerce service provider, is defined as a service provider that executes contracts or receives orders for the supply of goods or services in the electronic commerce marketplace or in its own electronic commerce environment.