New Market Survelliance Regulation of the Ministry of Trade
Following the enactment of Law No. 7223 on Product Safety and Technical Regulations (new law) on March 12th, 2020, the Ministry of Trade today renewed the Market Surveillance and Inspection Regulation (the “New Regulation”). The New Regulation replaces the past Market Surveillance and Inspection Regulation of the Ministry of Customs and Trade (the “Old Regulation”). The New Regulation does not introduce significant changes; bringing in some slight modifications to the practice and adapting the provincial organization to regional organization that was implemented upon merger of customs and trade ministries.
Even though in practice the inspections until now were generally handled by a full inspector and one deputy or intern inspector, there was no principle as to the number of inspectors in each case. The New Regulation (Section 6) brings forward that any inspection should be handled by at least two inspectors. In terms of transparency and four eyes principle that is a good step forward, save for some remaining areas of improvement as discussed below.
The market surveillance and inspection had always relied on testing, inspection and certification institutions. However, there was no clear rule that the same institution that has run the conformity tests should not be involved in the inspection phase. The New Regulation (Section 7) provides such rule.
A negative change in the procedure is introduced for the sampling procedures (Sections 8 and 9). The Old Regulation necessitated that the blueprint protocol to be kept during the inspections to be published on the ministry’s website, and provided a blueprint sampling form that needs to be filled in for samples kept during the inspections. During the inspections, such blueprints were filled in, in order to provide transparency and accuracy. The New Regulation abolishes the requirement to publish the blueprints of the inspection protocol and the sampling form.
Also, the New Regulation adjusts itself to the new era by allowing long distance and online sampling procedure. In this case, the requirements for the sampling procedure shall not be followed. From one regard the new approach provides flexibility and ease to all parties. On the other hand, and maybe because I am always a little bit sceptic for protection of individuals against the administration’s acts, this flexibility may turn into a dangerous procedure especially in cases of hazardous products or determination of the product as unsafe through a long distance inspection. I believe this procedure, where applied, has a potential to make the things harder for all parties if the inspection does not run smoothly.
The New Regulation repeats the already existing rule for the return of witness sample under Section 10/2. The Authority grants the manufacturer / the distributor 30 days to collect the witness sample that is under the Authority’s custody. If the manufacturer / distributor does not collect the witness sample within the given period of time, then the Authority transfers the witness sample to the revenue office for liquidation, and the manufacturer / distributor cannot claim title on the witness sample or compensation any more. Such provision is a typical matter of unlawful confiscation and against the right to title.
Though no changes are introduced for corrective measure program identified in the products, it is worth to mention that the manufacturer / distributor is required to provide a corrective measure plan within fifteen days in case of discrepancy with the technical regulations. Upon affirmation of the plan, the manufacturer / distributor will have six months for remedy, which can be prolonged for another six months in case of force majeure.
Of course, the New Regulation will continue to be applied hand in hand with the Ministry of Industry’s product safety regulations.
Please feel free to raise any matters with regard to the market surveillance and inspection by the Ministries of Trade or Industry.
April 01st, 2020.
 The Old Regulation was published in the Official Gazette No.: 29028 dated 12/6/2014.