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Amendments to Turkey’s Petroleum Market Law and Law on Liquefied Petroleum Gas

May 2021 – Turkey’s Petroleum Market Law No. 5015 (“Petroleum Law”) and Law on Liquefied Petroleum Gas 5307 (“LPG Law”) were amended on 30 April 2021 (“Amendment”), in line with amendments to the Tax Procedures Law No. 7318 (“Tax Law”).

Below is a summary of the main amendments to the Petroleum Law and the LPG Law.

Summary of the Main Amendments

  • In license applications and applications regarding amendments to licenses and extensions of license terms, provided that the concerned application relates to distribution, bunker delivery or vendor licenses, or other licenses that are to be determined by Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (“EMRA”), the applicant must submit to EMRA a document attesting that the applicant does not have any overdue debt regarding employer premiums or administrative fines to the Social Security Institution or any overdue debt regarding public receivables to the Turkish tax authorities. EMRA is authorised to determine the principles and procedure for implementing this requirement.
  • As per the amendment to the Tax Law, petroleum market and LPG market license owners that manufacture or import products obliged to bear special labels and signs, such as a banderol, stamp, barcode, hologram, denomination, stamp or symbols as per the Tax Law may be obliged to issue and submit a letter of guarantee to the tax offices for the purpose of securing the collection of taxes in connection with such products.

In line with this amendment, a provision added to the Petroleum Law and the LPG Law stipulates that the market activities of those failing to fulfil this requirement will be suspended until they submit the relevant letter of guarantee. The method for the calculation of the amount of the letter of guarantee is also provided in the amendments to the Tax Law.

As per the Petroleum Law, petroleum trade between distribution license owners is subject to EMRA’s approval. With the Amendment, a restriction is provided on such trades; accordingly, distributors are prohibited from selling the petroleum that they purchased from a distributor to another distributor. If it is determined that this prohibition has been violated, the license holders violating the prohibition will be subject to an administrative fine. In case of repetition within two years, the distribution license of the concerned license holder will be cancelled.

  • The Petroleum Law provides that in requests and applications made thereunder, if a fraud against law or misleading declaration is determined, the licenses of the perpetrators will be cancelled. As per the Amendment, a license holder whose license is cancelled due to a fraud against law or misleading declaration shall no longer be eligible to be granted a license.

Conclusion

As can be seen from the above summary, the Amendment mainly aims to secure the collection of taxes. Nevertheless, it also imposes new obligations and restrictions, particularly on petroleum market actors, and foresees new provisions imposing administrative fines. Therefore, the Amendment may be seen as another step in the recent tendency of the state and EMRA to regulate the petroleum market more strictly.

For more information please contact Şeyma Olğun, Senior Associate, at solgun@gentemizerozer.com.