prohibition on stockpiling and unjust pricing within the scope of covid - 19 measures!

27 July 2020

Prohibition on Stockpiling and Unjust Pricing within the Scope of COVID - 19 Measures!

The demand on some consumer goods has been grown sharply due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Especially, demand on hygiene products such as medical masks and medical gloves as well as food products have increased with the implementation lockdown. These developments have created the need for current and effective legal mechanisms regarding stockpiling and unfair pricing.

Accordingly, a set of regulations have been enacted to prevent stockpiling and unfair pricing within the scope of The Law on Mitigating the Effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak on Economic and Social Life and the Amendment of Certain Laws No. 7244 (“Law”). Within the scope of the Law two clauses have been added to The Law on Regulating Retail Commerce numbered 6585.

The amendments have prohibited:
· stockpiling and price gouging; and
· increasing price in products and services without a just cause.

The objective of the new amendments is to prevent activities that manipulate market price equilibrium and free competition as well those that prevent consumers from accessing goods.


The Unfair Price Evaluation Board

The Unfair Price Evaluation Board (“Board”) has been established and the Board has been authorized to impose administrative fines. The Board shall be authorized to conduct necessary audits within the scope of the Law on Regulation of Retail Commerce, investigate unfair pricing and stockpiling. The Board shall also be authorized to impose an administrative fine of up to 500,000 Turkish Liras to business which breach the provisions of the Law on Regulation of Retail Commerce.
Regulations relating to the working principles of the Board are expected to be enacted in the near future.


Stockpiling and Unfair Pricing as a Crime under the Turkish Criminal Code

In addition to the above-mentioned amendment, we would like to note that stockpiling and unfair pricing have been determined as crimes under the Turkish Criminal Code ("TCC"). In accordance with article 240 of the TCC, that the crime of avoiding selling a good or service has regulated as a crime that violating the right to life and demand to meet the needs.

In accordance with article Article 240 of the TCC, individuals that cause the emergence of an urgent necessity for the public by avoiding the sale of goods or service shall be punished with imprisonment from six months to two years.
In accordance with article 238 of the TCC, anyone that causes the disappearance or substantial reduction of primary goods or nutrients that is vitally important for the prevention of a general disaster shall be punished with imprisonment from one to three years and judicial fines up to a thousand days.



Times of crisis such as the emergence of a pandemic, may trigger a significant increase has seen in stockpiling and unfair pricing practices. Although the relevant regulations on retail commerce and the establishment of the Unfair Price Evaluation Board has been realized under crises circumstances, these amendments shall continue to be effective after the COVID – 19 outbreak has subdued.

İçerik: Av. H. Şafak Varol - Stj. Av. Alp Akdaş


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