Law No. 7491 which amends Article 5 of Cabotage Act (Law No. 815) is published in the Official Gazette on December 28, 2023 (No. 32413). The amendment raises the administrative fines imposed on those who violate the provisions of the Cabotage Act (the “Act”).

The Act, which has been in force since 1926, imposes a ban on foreign-flagged vessels' operations between Turkish ports. Accordingly, an administrative fine is imposed on foreigners as well as masters and owners of foreign ships acting contrary to the Act, as the right of cabotage solely belongs to the Turkish flagged ships and to Turkish real or legal persons. The latest change on the amounts of the fines was made in 2008.

With the amendment, the range of the administrative fines for those engaging cargo and passenger transportation and those providing towage and pilotage services will be between 40.000 Turkish Liras and 2 million Turkish Liras. Furthermore, an administrative fine starting from 20.000 Turkish Liras up to 200.000 Turkish Liras shall be imposed on foreigners who violate the Act by using the rights granted only to Turkish nationals. 

The increased administrative fines will come into effect on January 1, 2024.