The Ministry of Trade ("Ministry") has published the Draft Regulation on the Amendment of the Regulation on After-Sales Services ("Draft Regulation") on its website on 10 December 2018 in order to amend the Regulation on After-Sales Services ("Regulation") which has been enacted under the Law on the Protection of Consumer numbered 6502 ("Law No.6502"). The Draft Regulation sets forth that it shall enter into force within 3 (three) months following its publications date.
As explained in detail below, the Draft Regulation mainly aims to provide amendments in favor of the consumers and extend the list of the goods that the after-sales shall be provided with.
The Amendments Made Under the Draft Regulation
- Compliance Certificate
The validity period of the after-sale service authorization certificate1 ("Compliance Certificate") is reduced from 2 (two) years to 1 (one) year. Furthermore, while the Regulation states that the manufacturers or importers shall apply for the renewal after the expiration of the Compliance Certificate, the Draft Regulation sets forth that they shall be obliged to renew the Compliance Certificate prior to its expiration date.
The Draft Regulation states that the Compliance Certificates approved prior to the effective date of the Draft Regulation are valid for a period of 1 (one) year following their approval date.
Although the Regulation requires the notification of the amendments made on the authorized service stations within 15 (fifteen) days, the Draft Regulation regulates that the amendments made on the services included in the list annexed to the Regulation shall be notified to the Ministry within 15 (fifteen) days. As the first consequence of the amendment, the notification requirement shall be applicable for the cases where the services included in the related list are amended even though the authorized service stations are not amended. Furthermore, the notification requirement shall not be applicable for the cases where the services provided in addition to the list providing the minimum service requirements are amended.
- Service Stations
The Draft Regulation includes a new provision which requires the publication of all authorized service stations on the websites of the manufacturers or importers.
Pursuant to the new paragraph included in the Article 9 of the Regulation, it is clarified that the manufacturers or the importers shall not be obliged to notify the Ministry if the number of the authorized service stations they have established exceeds the number of the authorized service stations stated under the list annexed to the Regulation. In any case, operations of the additional authorized service stations shall be in compliance with the provisions of the Regulation.
The Regulation stipulates that no additional fees may be charged against consumers due to the delivery/transportation of the goods, in case it is not possible to provide after-sales service at the authorized service station closest to the consumer, whether during the warranty period or not. The Draft Regulation amends said provision and regulates that the authorized service stations shall not charge/request any fee including delivery/transportation fee during the warranty period, without introducing any exceptions. When compared, it is seen that the Draft Regulation (i) extends the scope of the obligation to not to charge delivery/transportation fees while (ii) it limits the period of such obligation with the warranty period.
Similar to the Regulation, the Draft Regulation also provides the consumers with the opportunity to made malfunction notifications via telephone, fax, e-mail, registered letter and similar methods. However, the Draft Regulation introduces a new obligation which sets forth that the manufacturer or importer cannot choose a tariff higher than the usual tariff, in the event that a telephone line is allocated by the manufacturer or importer for consumers' communications regarding the after-sales services.
- Mandatory Content of the Documents
The Draft Regulation provides that the information regarding "the period of time spent for repair" must be included in the service slips to be delivered to the consumers by the service stations when delivering the goods, in addition to the information currently listed in the Regulation.
The Draft Regulation clearly states that it is not required to issue a receipt document which needs to be drafted when delivering the goods to consumers, in case the repair is carried out at the place where the goods are used.
The Goods Subject to Mandatory After-Sale Services Under the Law No. 6502
With the Draft Regulation the list of the goods that are subject to mandatory after-sale services and the requirements are amended. The significant goods added with the Draft Regulation and therefore, subject to the requirements set forth under the Regulation are as follows: tablets, smart watches and bracelets, smart pens, memories, display cards, drones, smart home and automation systems, audio and visual communication systems, smart TV boxes, audio book readers for the blind, laptop coolants, baby monitoring cameras and parent monitors, USB fans, virtual reality goggles, in car cameras and dive computers.
1 After-sale service authorization certificate is the document issued by the Ministry for the manufacturers or importers in terms of the goods manufactured in Turkey and/or imported goods, which presents that the manufacturers/importers have sufficient technical personnel and tools to provide mandatory installation, maintenance and repair services.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.