On January 14, 2015, Turkey issued its Regulation on Agreements Concluded outside the Workplace, amending the rules governing door-to-door and other direct sales. The regulation is in line with the new Consumer Protection Law, which entered into force on May 28, 2014, and will replace, effective April 14, the Regulation on Application Procedures and Principles of Doorstep Selling.
What the new rules say
Agreements concluded outside the workplace
"Agreements concluded outside the workplace" are agreements between a consumer and a seller or service provider concluded
- outside a regular place of business with the simultaneous physical presence of both parties, or
- at a regular place of business or through a distant communication device, e.g., online, immediately following a meeting with the consumer outside the place of business, or
- during a trip for promotion of a product or service to the consumer.
Under the Regulation:
- agreements concluded outside the regular place of business must be in writing in at least 12-point type in a legible form;
- the seller or service provider must adequately inform the consumer of the terms and conditions;
- the consumer is entitled to cancel within 14 days from delivery of the product;
- the consumer is not liable for normal wear and tear during the cancellation period; and
- the seller or service provider must retain all data relating to the purchase in its records for three years.
Direct selling is the sale of products directly to consumers away from a permanent retail location. Direct selling is carried out by persons (direct sellers) who act as sales representatives of a direct selling company at the home or workplace of the consumer.
Under the Regulation:
- direct sellers must be at least 18 years old;
- direct sellers must have the right to withdraw from the direct sales system at will without penalty;
- "get rich quick" schemes and making unrealistic promises to direct sellers are prohibited; and
- direct sales companies are severally liable with their direct sellers for the direct sellers' sales activity.
Sellers and service providers intending to enter into sales agreements outside a regular place of business or engage in direct sales must obtain a license valid for two years from the appropriate provincial trade directorate of the Ministry of Customs and Trade.
Actions to consider
Companies providing goods or services to consumers through agreements concluded outside a regular place of business or engaging in direct sales should take the necessary steps to bring their activities into compliance with the regulation by April 14, 2015.