With 122 votes in favor, the Guatemalan Congressman have approved initiative 5082, “Framework Law for Consumer Defense and Protection.” This approval marks a significant milestone for the country and its commitment to protecting consumer rights and clarifies procedures.

This new regulation, which aims to replace the current Consumer and User Protection Law, seeks to regulate the relationships between suppliers, consumers, and users as a result of actions, contracts, and the acquisition of goods carried out by each party, establishing infractions, expanding consumer rights, imposing prohibitions on suppliers, and empowering the supervisory body to enforce sanctions when harm to the consumer or user is determined. . For this purpose, it decrees that individual or legal persons, national or foreign, and public or private entities will be subject to this law.

In addition, through legislation, the following institutions are established:

(a) Consumer and User Defense and Protection Ombudsman (PRODECO).

(b) Technical Consultative Council for Consumer and User Defense.

(c) Administrative Council for Consumer and User Defense.

(d) Departmental Offices for the Consumer and User.

It should be noted that PRODECO, the superior authority, would be an autonomous and independent entity with active legitimization to act on its own initiative and initiate administrative processes, as well as to appear before judicial authorities with active legitimization for that purpose.

As a result of its approval, the previous Decree 06-2003, the current Consumer and User Protection Law, will be completely repealed. The law expands the services, acts, and goods that can be subject to this law, including healthcare services, financial services, and acts related to the acquisition of real estate properties. Furthermore, the law allows the initiation of an administrative complaint process or enables the filing of legal actions to claim damages.

Lastly, in the section regarding infractions, the law classifies them in a graduated manner, from minor to severe, and, depending on the case, grants PRODECO the legitimization to appear before judicial authorities to request precautionary measures in defense of user and consumer rights if it deems it appropriate.

We inform our clients that the standard is reserved for final drafting during a future Congress session. From now on, at BLP, we are delighted to accompany our clients during this transition and understanding of new obligations that come with this new legislation. As expert consumer law attorneys, we are committed to providing solid and strategic legal advice to ensure that our clients’ interests are always protected. For more information, please contact [email protected].