Turkey: New Obligations For Mobile Phone Manufacturers And Importers In Turkey: Draft Regulation On Mobile Alarm System

1. Introduction

1.1. The Information Technologies and Communication Authority of Turkey ("ITCA") have published the Draft Regulation on the Establishment and Operation of the National Mobile Alarm System ("Draft Regulation") on its website on January 21, 2020 for public consultation.

1.2. Draft Regulation foresees the establishment of a National Mobile Alarm System ("MAS") in order to send notifications to users located in a particular geographic area via Cell Broadcast System ("CBS"), Commercial Mobile Alarm System ("CMAS"), Short Message Service ("SMS") or pre-call announcements in case of disasters, emergencies and situations that may threaten public order, national security and national cyber security. It also sets out the obligations of telco operators as well as mobile device producers, manufacturers and importers in relation to the MAS.

1.3. Draft Regulation obliges licensed operators to set up the necessary infrastructure that will facilitate complete and free of charge transmission of the notifications which are sent to them by the MAS via CMAS, CBS, SMS and pre-call announcements within three (3) months of the enactment of the Draft Regulation.

1.4. Public institutions and organizations that are authorized by law will be given the authorization to use the MAS to transmit notifications by ITCA. ITCA may also give discretionary authority to other public institutions upon their application within the scope of disasters, emergencies and issues that may pose a threat to public order, national security and national cyber security.

2. Obligations Brought to Device Manufacturers and Importers

2.1. Draft Regulation sets out important obligations for device producers, manufacturers and importers in order to facilitate healthy functioning of the MAS over mobile devices distributed in the Turkish market. Namely;

2.1.1. Devices supplied to the market by the producer, manufacturer or importer must contain the features that will allow the use of the CMAS method in accordance with the requirements specified in the Regulation and must comply with the ETSI TS 102 900 standard or those that will supersede this standard.

2.1.2. The compatible devices (i.e. devices that supports CMAS but, at the time of the enactment of the Draft Regulation, this function is not yet activated) already available on the market and those that will be introduced to the market within three months after the publication of the Draft Regulation will be expected to be activated by the producer, manufacturer or importer within six months of the publication of the Regulation, in order them to fully support CMAS method to be used with the devices.

2.1.3. The packaging and introductory and user manual of devices that are compliant with the expectations of the Draft Regulation shall carry the following wording: "This device complies with the ETSI TS 102 900 [or the code of the superseding version] standard or national and international standards that supersede this standard, and the technical specifications contained in these standards". For one year after its enaction, the Draft Regulation allows obligation regarding including this warning to the introductory and user manual to be fulfilled by including an information sheet that will be placed in the device packaging with the warning on it.

2.1.4. Should the distributed devices are found to be incompliant with these requirements, the producer, manufacturer or importer may face one or more of the following enforcement actions: warning, monetary fines, ban on devices to be put into market until the incompliance is corrected, notifying the consumers about the incompliance of the devices or recall of the devices.

2.2. Draft Regulation foresees a compliance period of three months from the enactment of the Regulation. Accordingly, devices that do not meet the requirements brought by the Draft Regulation may no longer be introduced to the market after three months of the enactment of the Regulation.