The Draft Law on Product Safety and Technical Regulations (“Law”) is expected to be published in the Official Gazette soon. This Law aims to ensure that products are safe and comply with the relevant technical regulations.
According to the Law, an unsafe product cannot be put or kept on the market. If it is already in the market, then it will be removed; if it is in consumer’s hands then it will be recalled. In other respects, products that have been prepared in compliance with the relevant technical regulations and principles and procedures and which aim to ensure human health and safety will be assumed to be “safe” products (güvenli ürünler).
General Safety Measures by Consumer Products
In cases where the technical regulations specified in the Law do not exist or when the relevant technical regulation does not cover the characteristics of the product that may pose risks to human health and safety, a consumer product’s safety will be assessed according to the general security requirements based on this Law.
Liabilities of the Manufacturer
According to the Law, the liabilities of a manufacturer are as follows:
- A manufacturer may only supply products to the market that are designed and manufactured in accordance with technical regulations and, where applicable, with general safety requirements;
- A manufacturer issues the technical file (teknik dosya) required by the legislation, executes the conformity assessment procedure, issues the conformity declaration or other documents indicating the product’s conformity and places the conformity mark on the product;
- A manufacturer retains the abovementioned files and documents for a period of at least ten (10) years, in case no specific period has been determined under law, from the date of placing the product on the market;
- A manufacturer takes all necessary measures to maintain the conformity of the product with relevant rules during the mass production period; follows the amendments on the rules related to the design, qualifications and conformity of the product and does what is necessary;
- In proportion to the potential risks of the products, a manufacturer must test the samples, investigate and keep records of complaints about non-conforming and recalled products, and inform the distributors about his supervision.
Liabilities of commercial enterprises
According to the Law, commercial enterprises such as distributors may be deemed as manufacturers and may be liable as manufacturers. The Law states that such liability may arise under the following conditions:
- the importers and distributors who are offering a product to the market under their own name or trademark or who modify a product in such a way that affects the conformity of the product with respect to the requirements of the technical regulations or general safety requirements where applicable shall be deemed as manufacturers under the Law. Such commercial enterprises are responsible for fulfilling the obligations of a manufacturer, which are determined under the Law.
- in cases where the manufacturer, authorized representative or the importer of a product cannot be identified, the distributor is liable as a manufacturer, if
- he does not notify the authorized institution of the name and the contact details of the manufacturer, authorized representative or importer within ten (10) days after the notification made by the authorized institution,
- if such information is not available and he does not notify the authorized institution of the name and the contact details of the previous economic enterprise in the supply chain within ten (10) days after the notification made by the authorized institution.
- When it comes to product liability and where the manufacturer, authorized representative or the importer of a product cannot be identified, the distributor shall be liable as a manufacturer, if
- he does not notify the damaged person or entity of the name and the contact details of the commercial enterprises;
- if such information is not available and he does not notify the damaged person or entity of the name and the contact details of the previous economic enterprise in the supply chain within a reasonable time.
Conformity Marks (Uygunluk İşaretleri)
According to the Law, a safe product complies with the following:
- For a product to be placed on the market, to be available on the market or to be offered for the end-user's service, the compulsory conformity assessment procedures determined in the technical regulations must be completed and the product must pass the procedure.
- It is forbidden to draft, use, falsify or imitate the CE marks or any conformity marks, documents, test reports and other documents that are required by a technical regulation for the product.
- Compulsory conformity marks may only be placed on products for which the technical regulations require such marks.
- The marks and documents indicating the conformity of a product must be regulated and used in accordance with the procedures and principles set under the Law or under the technical regulations.
- No other markings or descriptions may be placed on a product that may mislead third persons about the meaning and the form of CE mark. Any other marks may only be placed on a product in such a way that it does not falsify the visibility, readability and meaning of the CE mark.
Administrative fines may be imposed on those who violate Articles 8, 11 and other relevant articles of the Law. The fines range from TRY 10,000 to TRY 200,000. In addition to the administrative fines, sanctions such as temporary or permanent prohibition of business (faaliyetten men) or exportation (ihracattan men) may be imposed if necessary.