REFORMS TO THE CONSUMER PROTECTION LAW DUE TO COVID-19

On March 20th of this year, before the national emergency declared in El Salvador due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Legislative Assembly approved Decree No. 602, through which the Consumer Protection Law was amended.

The reforms aim to avoid market distortions 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 number 3) to the second paragraph of article 44 of the Law, including as a very serious offense offering, marketing or selling goods or services at prices higher than the maximum set by the Consumer Protection Authority, either in commercial establishments or privately, or through electronic commerce.

The sanction 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, it also reforms paragraph c) of Article 58 of the Law, giving the Consumer Protection Authority the power to “fix 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 they are essential products and services. “It may also restrict and regulate the quantities to be purchased of said goods in the event of damage or possible damage due to risks such as pandemics and epidemics in the case of essential or necessary products.

It is very important to take into account that the sanctions established by the Law can increase when the infraction affects the abstract interests of consumers. That is, when it damages the interests of an indeterminate group of consumers.

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

For more information and legal assistance in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us through the following channels: fmartinez@romeropineda.com; Info@romeropineda.com; tel. 2505555 or for emergencies 77299977

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