14 May 2020
A new commercial electronic message management system called İleti Yönetim Sistemi (the “IYS”) is introduced by the Amendment Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages (‘Amendment Regulation’) on 4 January 2020.
The IYS is a new centralised system that is available for service providers, the intermediary service providers, and the individuals (message recipients or consumers). The IYS enables individuals to register, track, and manage their wishes (consents) to receive or not to receive commercial electronic messages from various merchants. In other words, consumers can sign up to the IYS to indicate that they do not want to receive any commercial electronic messages (including calls, SMS, and e-mails). This system also provides a mandatory platform for service providers and the intermediary service providers to fulfil their legal obligation under the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages. The new system will ease the complaint procedure as well. Consumers will be able to report the service providers who continue to communicate without the consumer’s consent.
This new system is similar to Robinson list practices across the world. For example, in the UK, Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Cooperate Telephone Preference Service (CTPC) which enable individuals and companies to register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls. Moreover, Mailing Preference Service (MPS) was also established in the UK for consumers to request to have their names and home addresses removed from direct mail lists. Other countries that use similar systems include Australia, Canada, India, United States, Singapore.
Is Your Business Affected by the New System?
According to the Amendment Regulation, all service providers and the intermediary service providers must register with the IYS until 1 June 2020 via the form presented on the website of IYS. Moreover, service providers must transfer (enter) all consents previously obtained by them to the IYS by 1 June 2020.
After 1 September 2020, the service providers and the intermediary service providers will be obliged to check through the IYS whether the individual (recipient) has provided consent for the communication or not. It will be forbidden to send messages or communicate for commercial purposes to individuals who do not appear to have given consent (or opted-out such consent) over the IYS.
Who is the Service Provider and what is the timeline for the Service providers?
The service provider is all individuals and legal entities who send commercial electronic messages defined as data, audio, and video content messages for commercial purposes and using electronic infrastructure such as telephone, call centres, fax, automatic dialing machines, smart voice recorder systems, electronic mail, short message services.
Examples of the service providers are banks, GSM operators, supermarkets, vehicle dealers, etc. who make advertising and send promotions via telephone, SMS, e-mail to their customers or potential customers. It is not important whether this legal entity or individual sells goods or provides services via the internet, the decisive factor to determine the scope of the service provider is whether the individual or the legal entity sends a commercial electronic message or not.
The below table summarises the obligations of the service provider and the timeline for these obligations.
Between 4 January 2020- 1 June 2020
Registration with the IYS and completion of the transfer of all previously obtained consents.
31 May 2020
Between 1 June 2020-1 September 2020
Integration of the systems with the IYS in the light of the IYS’ instructions and directions.
31 August 2020
After 1 September 2020
-Unregistered service providers cannot send commercial electronic messages.
-Screening obligation: No commercial electronic message can be sent to the individuals (recipients) whose consents do not exist in the IYS. (for B2B communications, consent is not requested, it is only tracking whether there is an opt-out request or not)
-Opt-in and opt-out requests which are not received through the IYS must be transferred to the IYS within three (3) business days.
As seen on the above table, the service providers must first register with the IYS and transfer the consents to the system. The deadline for this obligation is 31 May 2020.
Who is the Intermediary Service Provider and what is the timeline for the Intermediary Service Providers?
The intermediary service provider is the individual or legal entity that provides the electronic commerce environment to conduct others’ economic and commercial activities. In other words, intermediary service providers mediate service provider’s commercial electronic messages.
The table below summarises the obligations of the intermediary service providers and the timeline for these obligations.
Registration with the IYS
31 May 2020
-Screening that the service provider registers with the IYS before sending a commercial electronic message.
-Screening whether there is consent of the individual (opt-out of the trader for B2B communications) through the IYS before sending a commercial electronic message.
-Receiving a statement from the service provider for commercial electronic messages that do not require consent.
-Reporting to the IYS when receivers cancel phone subscriptions.
Responding to requests for information and documents related to the commercial electronic messages subject to complaints through the IYS within fifteen (15) days.
Like for service providers, intermediary service providers must register with the IYS latest by 31 May 2020.
Is It Possible to Postpone the Dates for these Obligations?
According to the Amendment Regulation, the Ministry of Customs and Trade is authorized to postpone the dates for the obligations listed in the above tables for three (3) months. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak that emerged after the publication of the Amendment Regulation, a decision to extend the deadlines may be expected for up to three (3) months. However, still, there is no regulation or announcement on this matter as of the date of this blog post. We will keep you posted on any developments in the coming
 Abbreviation of İleti Yönetim Sistemi (Message Management System)
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