The Regulation on the Amendment of the Distance Sales Regulation
The Regulation on the Amendment of the Distance Sales Regulation ("Amendment Regulation") was published in the Official Gazette dated 23 August 2022 and numbered 31932. On the other hand, the Regulation on Amending such Amendment Regulation ("Second Amendment Regulation") was published in the Official Gazette dated 14 September 2022 and numbered 31953. The memorandum encompasses the crucial amendments brought by the Amendment Regulation.
The Second Amendment Regulation, on the other hand, regulates the effective date of the regulations that expand the responsibility of the consumers for the return processes and return costs of the products they purchase remotely, and the obligations of the service providers/intermediary service providers within the scope of the use of the right of withdrawal, returns and preliminary information. Accordingly, the effective date of such provisions has been determined as 1 January 2024. Apart from these regulations, the amendments brought with the Amendment Regulation became effective on 1 October 2022.
New amendments brought by the Amendment Regulation
With the Amendment Regulation, comprehensive changes are envisaged on the Distance Sales Regulation regarding:
• The scope,
• Preliminary information obligation,
• Delivery of goods,
• Right of withdrawal,
• Obligations of the seller, supplier, and intermediary service provider, and
• Consumer's rights and obligations.
Another important point to be underlined within the scope of the said amendments is the harmonization between the Distance Sales Regulation ("Regulation") and the amendments made in the Law on the Protection of the Consumer on 1 April 2022.
In addition, with the amendments regarding the areas mentioned above, the Amendment Regulation has introduced two new concepts to article 4 named "Definition" and accordingly, the concept of "Intermediary Service Provider" is defined as "real or legal person who mediates the establishment of a distance sales on behalf of the seller or provider by using or making available remote communication tools with the system he has created". Furthermore, "Platform" is defined as "the system created by the intermediary service provider to mediate the establishment of a distance sales, excluding the common public electronic platform where public services are offered from a single point."
Preliminary Information Obligation
Whereas the article 5 of the Regulation regulates the preliminary information obligation, the article 6 covers regulations regarding the method of such obligation. In accordance with the Amendment Regulation, the intermediary service provider is also incorporated within the scope as persons under the obligation of preliminary information as well as the seller and the supplier. It should also be noted that, pursuant to the clause added to Article 5 of the Regulation, the scope of liability is regulated as, "In case the distance contract is established through the platform, the intermediary service provider is jointly and severally responsible with the seller or the provider for the preliminary notification. In cases where data entry is made by the intermediary service provider, the intermediary service provider's liability contains both the deficiencies related to the mandatory matters specified in the first anecdote and the accuracy of the data."
Lastly, the intermediary service providers are jointly and severally liable with the seller or providers for the obligations regarding the method of providing the preliminary information and for the confirmation of the preliminary information.
Right of Withdrawal
Exceptions to the use of the right of withdrawal, which is regulated under article 11 of the Regulation, have been expanded. It is stipulated that the consumer may direct the notifications regarding the use of the right of withdrawal to the intermediary service providers in addition to the seller and the provider. Furthermore, the Amendment Regulation has extended the period of which the consumer's use of his/her right of withdrawal to fourteen days.
With the new anecdote added to such article of the Regulation, the intermediary service provider must implement the necessary system on the platform in order that the consumer to fill out the form which is in the annex of the Amendment Regulation or to send the withdrawal statement and they are obliged to immediately convey to the consumer the confirmation information that the withdrawal statements submitted by the consumers have reached by them and the seller or the provider where the distance contracts established over the platform.
Further issues regarding the right of withdrawal are related to the starting date of the refund period of the payments in cases where the right of withdrawal is exercised, and the requirement that the refund be made in a lump and in accordance with the payment instrument. Last but not least, it should be noted that,
Contracts regarding movables, which are required to be registered according to the Highway Traffic Law, and unmanned aerial vehicles, which are required to be registered,
Mobile phones, smart watches, tablets, and computers delivered to the consumer,
Goods purchased via live auction, and
It is stated in article 15 of the Regulation that the right of withdrawal granted to consumers cannot be exercised related to the contracts regarding the installation or assembly of the goods specified in the introduction and user manual by the seller or the authorized service.
The amendments introduced in this memorandum are the major topics brought with the Amendment Regulation, and it would be the best choice to consult from an expert in order to obtain more concrete information on the subject and to reach the result as soon as possible. Regarding the subject matter, as Güden International Law Firm, we both provide consultancy services and legal services at the litigation stages. If you wish to get more detailed information about the matter at hand, you can contact us through our e-mail address email@example.com.