The Communiqué on the Electronic Commerce Information System and Obligations of Notification (“Communiqué”) was published in the Official Gazette and entered into force on 11 August 2017. The Turkish Ministry of Customs and Trade (“Ministry”) published the Communiqué.
Purpose of the Communiqué
The purpose of this Communiqué is to set forth the rules and principles for the registration and notifications required to be made via the Electronic Commerce Information System (Elektronik Ticaret Bilgi Sistemi) (“ETBİS”).
Scope of the Regulation
The Communiqué covers the registry and notice obligations of service providers, intermediary service providers and related third parties when concluding a contract to sell or acquire goods or services over the internet.
According to Article 5 of the Communiqué, the following real persons or legal entities shall register on ETBİS before beginning their activities: (i) service providers providing services on their own electronic commerce platforms; (ii) intermediary service providers; and (iii) local service providers that do not provide services in Turkey but enter into a contract or receive orders through an intermediary service provider located in a foreign country. The Communique sets out distinct provisions on: (i) the obligations of service providers providing services in their own electronic commerce platforms; and (ii) the obligations of intermediary service providers.
The following are needed for registration on ETBİS: (i) a central trade registry record number and tax identification number for real persons or legal entities; and (ii) a Turkish identification number (from whose relevant).
In addition to the foregoing, service providers and intermediary service providers shall submit information such as: (i) a registered e-mail address (KEP); (ii) the type of e-commerce (B2B or B2C); (iii) commercial activities being conducted aside from the e-commerce activities; (iv) types of goods and services provided on the e-commerce platform; (v) payment methods provided on the e-commerce platform; and (vi) information regarding the countries where the databases are located which store personal data and customer information. Further information may be requested by the ministry.
Information registered on ETBİS regarding service providers and intermediary service providers shall be announced on the following web pages: http://www.gtb.gov.tr/ and/or www.eticaret.gov.tr. Statistics will be produced by processing all data collected. The statistical information will be shared with the public on a monthly basis. The Ministry has recently published a notice entitled “Principles of Registration on, and Notifications to, the Electronic Commerce Information System” in order to explain the Communiqué to the parties concerned.
Current service providers and intermediary service providers must fulfil their registration and notification obligations within thirty (30) days from 1 December 2017. The service providers and intermediary service providers shall inform the Ministry within thirty (30) days of any changes relating to their registration and notification obligations. In addition, service providers and intermediary service providers whose electronic commerce activity ends shall notify the Ministry of this within thirty (30) days.
The Communiqué does not provide for any explicit provisions regarding sanctions and enforcement procedures for non-compliance with the registration and notification obligations. The general provisions on administrative fines apply to the scope of the Communique, as according to the provisions of the Law on Electronic Commerce (Elektronik Ticaretin Düzenlenmesi Hakkında Kanun)with the number 6563 (“E-Commerce Law”). Said provisions can be found under the E-Commerce Law and lie within the Ministry’s competence.