In accordance with the “Regulation Amending the Regulation on Commercial Communications and Commercial Electronic Messages “ published in the Official Gazette dated January 4, 2020, all natural and legal persons sending commercial electronic messages are required to register with the Commercial Message Management System (“IYS”). According to the amendment, service providers engaged in these activities are required to complete their registration to the IYS by June 1st, 2020 and to transfer the recipients’ databases containing commercial electronic message receiving approval to the system.

The sender of the commercial electronic messages through the intermediary service provider (real and legal persons who provide electronic commerce platform for the economic and commercial activities of third parties) must also register to the IYS. Those who are in the position of intermediary service provider shall not initiate the transmission of commercial electronic messages belonging to service providers that do not meet the requirement to register to the IYS. The intermediary service provider shall not obtain approval on behalf of others to send commercial electronic messages for the purpose of promoting or marketing their goods and services or business. The intermediary service provider, which initiates commercial electronic transmission under the instruction of the service provider, should check whether the recipients have approval through the IYS before the transmission begins, and should not initiate the transmission of messages to recipients who do not have approval on the IYS. Intermediary service providers have no obligation to check for commercial electronic messages transmitted by e-mail.

It is not necessary to control authorization status from IYS before sending commercial electronic messages regarding modification of the supplied goods or services, operation, and maintenance ; notifications regarding on-going subscription, membership or partnership status; notifications regarding collection, debt reminders, information updates, purchasing and delivery notifications, or messages about similar cases notifications that should be sent in accordance with the capital market legislation by the companies that are conducting brokerage to their customers for informational purposes it is not necessary to control. However, service providers are required to make a statement to the intermediary service provider regarding the exception they are based on for sending the message. Before sending to recipients who are merchants or tradesmen, it should be checked whether the recipients have used their right of refusal through the IYS.

Recipients should be sent a message on June 1st, 2020 indicating that their approvals have been uploaded to the IYS, and it will be stated that they have the right to reject their approvals uploaded to the IYS until September 1st, 2020. Recipients will be able to choose which service providers they approve or which they want to remove through this system. There is also the possibility for recipients to complain the service providers through this system. In accordance with the relevant regulation, the Ministry of Commerce has been authorized to extend the dates mentioned here for an additional period of 3 months.

The one-year period in which the approval records should be kept from the date of the expiration of the validity of the approval and other records relating to sending messages from the date of registration has been increased to three years. In addition, it has been stated that the contents of the voice call will include a trade name for merchants, a name and surname for tradesmen, and that the service provider may also include other personally identifiable information such as a brand or business name.

In order to be in compliance with the latest legislation, below mentioned main steps should be taken:

  1. Registration to the IYS before June 1st,2020
  2. Analysing existing commercial electronic message approvals in accordance with approval texts and approval related evidence and sortation approved/disapproved contact information data
  3. Conversion of data to data format to be determined by the system and loading of data for recipients identified as having been approved
  4. Check the compatibility of existing approval/rejection processes with, IYS processes and make necessary updates in processes
  5. To make the existing commercial electronic message management systems able to receive the approval/rejection information from the IYS, to send this information to the system and to be able to check the approval before the message
  6. Updating record retention times for current approval and message delivery

Should you need more detailed information, please kindly contact our office.

Best regards,
Ozan Parlak, Legal Intern

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