On March 20 of this year, given the national emergency situation declared in El Salvador due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Legislative Assembly approved Decree No. 602, through which the Consumer protection law.

The reforms are intended to avoid distortions in the market, such as hoarding of products and the unjustified increase in prices of products and services that are considered essential for the population.

The reform Decree adds a numeral 3) to the second paragraph of Article 44 of the Law, including as a very serious infraction the offering, marketing or selling of goods or services at prices or quantities higher than the maximum set by the Consumer Ombudsman's Office, whether in commercial establishments or privately, or through electronic commerce.

The penalty established by the Consumer Protection Law for very serious infractions, in accordance with Article 47, is a fine of up to five hundred urban monthly minimum wages in the industry.

Likewise, literal c) of Article 58 of the Law is also reformed, giving the Consumer Ombudsman the power to “set or modify the maximum prices of intermediate and final goods for use or consumption and services in case of national emergency, public calamity or disaster, as long as it involves essential products and services.” It may also restrict and regulate the quantities of said goods to be acquired in the event of damage or possible damage due to risks such as pandemics and epidemics when they are essential or necessary products.

It is very important to take into account that the sanctions established by the Law may increase when the violation affects diffuse interests of consumers, that is, when it harms the interests of an indeterminate group of consumers.

These reforms will come into force eight days after the publication of the aforementioned decree in the Official Gazette.

For more information and legal assistance on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us by email; or emergency phone number 77299977. It will be a pleasure to assist you.

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