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Suspension of Meetings and Legal Periods of Consumer Arbitration Committees Within the Scope of COVID-19 Measures

Overview

In order to reduce and prevent the spread of the new type of coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which deepens its influence every day in the world and in our country, some measures are being implemented. In this context, a significant part of the judicial activities and the related periods have been suspended and a decision has been made to suspend the executive proceedings. You can access our article dated March 26, 2020 on this matter here.

“Regulation Amending the Regulation on Consumer Arbitration Committees” (“Regulation”) prepared by the Ministry of Commerce, was published in the Official Gazette No. 31095 dated April 10, 2020 and entered into force. With the given Regulation, Provisional Article 3 has been added to the Regulation on Consumer Arbitration Committees, which regulates the operating principles and procedures of consumer arbitration committees.

 

Consumer Arbitration Committees: Definition and Competence

Consumer arbitration committees are the committees established in order to finds solutions to disputes that may arise from consumer transactions and consumer-oriented practices, in accordance with the Law No. 6502 on the Protection of the Consumer. The cases in which these committees are competent are determined according to the amount in dispute. Although the monetary limits on disputes vary every year, the monetary limits for the year 2020 are as follows:

Amount in Dispute Competent Authority
<6.920,00.-TL District Consumer Arbitration Committees

 

(At Cities Under Metropolitan Status) Between 6.920,00.-Turkish Lira and 10.390,00.-Turkish Lira

 

Provincial Consumer Arbitration Committees

 

 

(At Centers of the Cities That Are Not Under Metropolitan Status) <10.390,00.-Turkish Lira

 

Provincial Consumer Arbitration Committees

 

(At Districts of Cities That Are Not Under Metropolitan Status) Between 6.920,00.-Turkish Lira and 10.390,00.-Turkish Lira

 

Provincial Consumer Arbitration Committees

 

>10.390,00.-Turkish Lira Consumer Courts/ (if there is not) Civil Courts of First Instance

 

Amendments Made Under COVID-19 Measures

With the Provisional Article 3 added to the Regulation on Consumer Arbitration Committees with the Regulation, in brief, the periods for the meetings of consumer arbitration committees and for the disputes seen before the arbitration committees have been suspended.

According to the Article 13 of the Regulation on Consumer Arbitration Committees regulating the time and place of meetings of the consumer arbitration committees, the committee may meet at any time upon call of the president when needed, not less than two per month. According to the Provisional Article 3 brought by the Regulation, these meetings have been suspended from the date when the regulation came into force, which is April 10, 2020 to the date April 30, 2020 (including this date).

Likewise, periods granted by the committee for the parties (maximum 30 days) for the submission of information and documents according to the Article 12 of the Regulation on Consumer Arbitration Committees, the periods granted to experts to prepare their reports in accordance with Article 21 and the period of 10 weekdays stipulated for the notification of the verdicts of the committee and rectification decisions to the parties in accordance with the Articles 25/1 and 27/2 are suspended from the date March 13, 2020 (including this date) to April 30, 2020 (including this date).

 

End of Suspension

The periods regulated in Articles 12, 21, 25/1 and 27/2 of the Regulation on Consumer Arbitration Committees shall commence to run from the day following the expiration of the suspension period.

In case there is a period of 15-days or less before the date of the expiration as of the beginning of the suspension period for the submission of information and documents, these periods shall be considered to have been extended by 15-days starting from the day following the expiration of the period of suspension.

 

Enforcement

The Regulation will be come into force on April 10, 2020, at the date of publication and will be enforced by the Minister of Commerce.

The full text of the Regulation can be accessed here.

You can contact us for further information and to take advantage of our advocacy and consulting services. You can find detailed information about our office’s work on Consumer Law on our website.

Adar UÇAR – Attorney at Law

Uçar Law & Consultancy Office

 

This legal memorandum is prepared by Uçar Law & Consultancy Office for information purposes only, and the information and visual materials contained in it cannot be used, reproduced, published, transmitted to a third party or translated without prior written permission from us. This legal memorandum is not a comment or legal opinion and was prepared on 10/04/2020 and our attorney’s office is not responsible for its failure to update continuously.