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AMENDMENTS WERE MADE TO THE REGULATION ON THE PRINCIPLES AND RULES TO BE APPLIED IN RETAIL TRADE



The Regulation Amending the Regulation on Principles and Rules to be Applied in Retail Trade ("Amendment Regulation") was published in the Official Gazette dated 14.12.2023.


The Amendment Regulation, which contains regulations in parallel with the recent amendments to the Law on the Regulation of Retail Trade ("Law"), will enter into force on 01.01.2024.


The issues regulated by the Amendment Regulation are set out below under separate headings.

 

I.             Definitions of "Large-Scale Enterprise" and "Agricultural and Food Products that May Spoil Within Thirty Days"


With the Amendment Regulation, the definitions of "large-scale enterprise" and "agricultural and food products spoilable within thirty days" have been added to the Regulation on Principles and Rules to be Applied in Retail Trade ("Regulation").


Accordingly, retail businesses that exceed the medium-scale enterprise limit specified in the Regulation on Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises are considered as large-scale enterprises. In terms of agricultural and food products spoilable within thirty days, it is stated that the production date will be taken as the basis for the beginning of the thirty-day period.


As set out below, the Amendment Regulation introduces rules on order conditions, order cancellations, returns, spoilage and loss of spoilable agricultural and food products within thirty days. In addition, maximum periods have been stipulated for large-scale enterprises to make payments arising from their commercial relations.

 

II.           Unfair Commercial Practices in the Supply Chain


One of the important changes introduced by the Amendment Regulation is the addition of the definition of "unfair commercial practice" to the Regulation and the prohibition of unfair commercial practices.


Unfair commercial practices are defined in Article 4 of the Regulation as "activities that cause one of the parties in commercial relations between producers, suppliers and retail businesses to be a party to a commercial relationship that significantly disrupts the commercial activities of the other party, reduces its ability to make reasonable decisions or would not normally be a party to".


In this context, it is regulated that the practices listed in the table below will be considered unfair commercial practices in all cases. The table also includes the amounts of administrative fines to be imposed pursuant to Articles 6 and 18 of the Law for these unfair commercial practices.



In addition, the Law stipulates that in case the practices listed in the table above are repeated within a calendar year, an administrative fine of twice the previous fine will be imposed for each repetition.


On the other hand, with the Amendment Regulation,


  • Reflecting costs related to administrative and criminal sanctions or customer complaints,

  • Taking commercial reprisals such as removing products from the list, reducing the number of products ordered, stopping marketing or campaign-like services related to these products, or imposing financial obligations on the grounds that the provisions to be applied in cases of non-compliance based on objective criteria are not included in the contract or on the grounds that an application has been made to public institutions or judicial authorities,

  • Causing damage to the counterparty by making untrue or misleading statements or notifications regarding the scale of the business, products and activities,

  • Returning agricultural and food products that are spoilable within thirty days from the date of production, except for fast-moving consumer goods the maximum prices of which are determined by tariff, on the grounds that they cannot be sold after delivery or transfer of ownership


such practices shall also be deemed as unfair commercial practices. However, currently, the Law does not provide for an administrative fine for these practices.

 

III. Time Periods for the Payments Arising from Commercial Relations Between Producers, Suppliers and Retail Businesses


With the Amendment Regulation, Article 5 of the Regulation has also been amended and maximum periods for the payments arising from commercial relations between producers, suppliers and retail businesses have been set.


In this context, depending on the scale of the creditor and debtor enterprises and the type of agricultural and food products, the maximum periods for the payments arising from commercial relations between producers, suppliers and retail enterprises are shown in the table below:



In cases other than those listed in the table above, the period of payments for agricultural and food products that are spoilable within thirty days cannot exceed forty-five days.


In addition, it is regulated that the above-mentioned periods will be calculated based on the date of delivery or transfer of ownership of the products, whichever is earlier.

 

IV. Sales of Food Products for Diseases Requiring Medical Nutrition Therapy from Chain Stores


With the provision added to Article 11 of the Regulation by the Amendment Regulation, the Ministry of Trade has been made authorized to impose an obligation on chain stores with more than two hundred branches to sell food products for diseases requiring medical nutrition treatment to be applied in branches with a sales area of more than two hundred and fifty square meters.

 

V. Payment Period for Meal Card Services


Another provision of the Amendment Regulation stipulates that the period of payments to be made by employers to undertakings providing meal card services and payments made by these undertakings to contracted retail enterprises cannot exceed 30 days. Accordingly, the 30-day period will start from the date of the invoice issued by the relevant parties.

 

VI. Regulation that the Payments Will Be Made Against an "Invoice or a Document Substituting an Invoice"


Finally, pursuant to the provision added to the Article 12/C of the Regulation by the Amendment it has been stipulated that payments to be made to producers and suppliers for the supply of fast-moving consumer goods, the maximum prices of which are determined by tariff, shall be made against an "invoice or invoice substitute document".

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