The obligation of e-commerce intermediary service providers and e-commerce service providers to obtain licenses from the Ministry of Commerce was introduced to our legal system with the “Law Amending the Law on the Regulation of Electronic Commerce" [available only in Turkish] published in the Official Gazette dated 7 July 2022, and thus has been amended by the Presidential Decree No. 6829 [available only in Turkish] published in the Official Gazette dated 23 February 2023 and numbered 32113.
As per the amendment, which enters into force with its publication, all of the monetary limits regarding the license obligations were increased by 50%.
The amended thresholds according to yearly transaction volume of the intermediary service providers and service providers are renewed as stated below.
Accordingly, the annual minimum transaction volume to fall into the scope of the license obligation is now determined as 15 billion Turkish Liras and the annual transaction value required to be subjected to the maximum license fee of 25% of the relevant portion of the trading volume was increased to 97,5 billion Turkish Liras.
Below are listed, respectively, [i.] the old threshold [the annual transaction volume], [ii.] the new threshold [the annual transaction volume] and [iii.] the license fee.
- 10 billion ₺ – 15 billion ₺ – 3/10.000
- 20 billion ₺ – 30 billion ₺ – 5/1.000
- 30 billion ₺ – 45 billion ₺ –1%
- 40 billion ₺ – 60 billion ₺ –5%
- 50 billion ₺ – 75 billion ₺ –10%
- 55 billion ₺ – 82.5 billion ₺ –15%
- 60 billion ₺ – 90 billion ₺ –20%
- 65 billion ₺+ –97.5 billion ₺+ –25%
Although the amendment has not made an explicit change in license fees, the monetary limits have been increased significantly even though the licensing obligation had just entered into force and is still in its adaptation period until 2024 for service providers and 2025 for intermediary service providers.
This development demonstrates that the concerns regarding potential restrictive effect of the regulation, as previously mentioned in our article “New Era in Turkey’s E-Commerce Market”, were becoming considerably likely to be proven right. With the amendment and the increased thresholds, many e-commerce intermediary service providers and e-commerce service providers are now subjected to lower license fees, and thus the financial burden caused by the license obligation will be alleviated to some degree and the market will be relieved.
By Zahide Altunbas Sancak, Partner, and Aziz Can Cengiz, Attorney, Guleryuz & Partners