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Protection for Nicaraguan consumers

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Nicaraguan consumers will have more defenses against commercial abuses starting in October, when the Law of Protection of the Rights of Consumers and Users, comes into force.

The new rules seek to avoid abuses, especially in cases of asymmetry – typically involving a company, which supplies products or provides services to of an individual with limited bargaining power.

Small businesses would also be able to seek protection, in a case of alleged abuses by larger entities.

The law emphasizes consumer rights in the field of financial transactions, including the creation of the Department of Services for Users of Financial Services, to deal alleged unfairness, as well as the creation of a Financial Services Commission.

Among the defenses included in the new regulations is a requirement that consumers in the context of a private contract, cannot waive any right conferred by law.

Electronic commerce will be subject to the same rules.

The law also prohibits suppliers from making unilateral changes to a contract, or to require payments in advance.

In case of a dispute, the parties may resort to arbitration, through the procedures established in the Law on Mediation and Arbitration.

Also, depending on the alleged misconduct, the state would have the right to apply the penalties provided in the Act.

The new law replaces one passed in 1994, which included had few details as to how to protect consumers.

For more information, please contact Mireyines Tellez at [email protected], or 505-2254-5454