On December 27, 2014, the Turkish Ministry of Customs and Trade issued its Communiqué on Administrative Fines Applicable in 2015 under Consumer Protection Law No. 6502, raising fines for consumer law violations by more than 10%, effective January 1, 2015.
Specifically, a company found to have:
made a deceptive or misleading representation through mass media advertising is subject to a fine ranging from TRY 5,505 to TRY 220,220 (approx. USD 2,400 - USD 98,000), depending on the type of mass media;
used unlawfully unfair terms in consumer agreements is subject to an administrative fine of TRY 220 (approx. USD 98) per agreement;
failed to provide explicit, simple and visible consumer notifications or agreements, written in at least 12-point font, or breached the terms of distant sales or subscription agreements is subject to a fine of TRY 220 per violation;
failed to provide explicit and legible safety information to consumers for goods or services deemed harmful to consumers or the environment is subject to a fine of TRY 220 (for sellers, per item sold; for manufacturers and importers, per item released to the market).
Actions to consider
Companies should be aware of how these significant increases in fines may affect their operations in Turkey, and take steps to ensure compliance with consumer laws.