Updates to 84 clauses in new commercial code

June 20, 2012, Wednesday/ 17:25:00/ SERKAN ŞAHİN

Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazıcı announced on Tuesday that 84 clauses in the new Turkish Commercial Code (TTK) had been revised.

Speaking at a press conference in Ankara, Yazıcı stated that the changes fell mainly under six categories: the presence of information about company executives in every document, a ban on shareholders from borrowing from the company, a requirement that a quarter of the board of directors should be graduates of a higher education institution, the scope of independent audits, heavy penalties for commercial crimes, the conversion of legal penalties into administrative penalties, requiring the establishment of a website, and including extensive company information in all official documents.

The new TTK, with contributions from the business world, will come into effect on July 1. He said the draft, which consists of 44 articles that will affect 84 clauses in the commercial code, had been sent to Parliament for approval on Monday, noting,

One of the new revisions states that if a company publishes its accounts on its website, then its accounts will not require approval from a notary.

With the revisions, companies are not required to publish their accounts on their website and shareholders will be able to borrow money from company accounts under certain conditions. In addition, the requirement for companies to be independently audited will be lifted but the Cabinet will determine which companies will be affected. Should an independent auditor produce a critical report, the executive board will no longer have to resign but will have to call for a general assembly meeting within four business days.

Companies will have until July 1, 2013, to revise their corporate charter in accordance with the new TTK and will be responsible for enforcing it from Jan. 1, 2014. Furthermore, 18 penal offences which had previously resulted in imprisonment between three months to two years or fines were transformed into administrative fines.

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