On October 7, 2019, the Personal Data Protection Board (the “Board”) rendered that the foreign companies’ liaison offices in Turkey are exempted from the registration requirement to the Data Controller Registry Information System (“VERBIS”) as the liaison offices do not perform commercial activity in Turkey.
The Board stated in the same decision that the foreign companies’ branches in Turkey may still be subject to the VERBIS registration requirement depending on the annual number of their employees and their total annual financial balance. Article 18 of the Law numbered 6698 on the Protection of Personal Data (the “Data Protection Law”) provides that the data controllers failing to comply with their VERBIS registration obligation may be imposed with an administrative fines for an amount between TL 20,000 and TL 1,000,000. Further, according to Article 15/7 of the Data Protection Law, the Board may also decide to suspend the processing of personal data and cross-border data transfer.
As a separate note, the Board had previously decided to extend the registration period to VERBIS from September 30, 2019 to December 31, 2019 for the (i) data controllers whose annual number of employees is more than 50 or whose annual financial balance is more than TL 25 million and (ii) non-resident data controllers (natural and legal person).
For details regarding VERBIS enrollment procedure for certain type of data controllers and the content of the Board’s guideline document, please visit our Client Alert from March 2019 at: https://www.cergun.av.tr/publication/recent-developments-on-protection-of-personal-data/
 Decision No. 2019/225 dated July 23, 2019, published in the Official Gazette dated October 7, 2019.
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