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Law that Extends Consumer Protection

In Panama, Acodeco will be able to decide on warranty complaints without going to court, when dealing with products worth up to $5,000 and in the case of vehicles, up to $30,000.

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (Acodeco), reported that on February 22 a law came into force which is "... Law 14 of February 20, 2018, which extends the rights of consumers and increases the amount on which the Authority has competence to rule on complaints, up to B /.5,000.00 and for motor vehicles up to B /. 30,000.00. This allows a significant number of consumers, whose cases could not be resolved directly, had to take their claims to the Courts to obtain a decision."

For the specific case of vehicles, he adds that " ...The law provides that, if on the 61st day that a car under warranty being in the workshop, and it has not yet been repaired, the economic agent has the obligation to provide a vehicle of similar characteristics to the consumer for their use, while they await for delivery of their repaired car. In the event that on the 105th day the motor vehicle under warranty has still not been repaired, the supplier will have to replace the vehicle with a new one, as long as it is damage that is preventing its safe use. "

In relation to vehicle warranty, Óscar García, administrator of Acodeco, told Prensa.com that "... 'there are cases in which customers have waited months or years for the repair of their vehicle because the part has not been found, meanwhile these consumers are without a car and frequently paying off a loan to the bank."

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Law_that_Extends_Consumer_Protection

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ACODECO has fined Cerveceria Nacional (Balboa, Atlas, Pepsi-Cola) and it's subsidiaries $50,000 for monopolistic practices.

By judgment of 30 November 2017, the Third Superior Court of the First Judicial District of Panama, confirms the Judgment No. 109-15 of 22 December 2015 of the Ninth Civil Circuit, in which it is stated that the economic group formed by CERVECERÍA NACIONAL, S.A. AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES DISTRIBUTOR COMERCIAL S.A., refreshments, S.A. AND FINANCIAL PASADENA, S.A. (merged with National Drinks, S.A. surviving this last), engaged in monopolistic practices, in accordance with the provisions of articles 5 and 14, paragraph 4, both of the Law 29 of 1 February 1996, now articles 7 and 16, paragraph 4 of the Law 45 of 31 October 2007.

Violations of the rules of competition originated in response to the economic group, in the exercise of its substantial market power, raised barriers to entry in the channel of distribution of the product called beer, and/or prevented the permanence and entry of their only direct competitor, a shift in drug abuse characterized as illegal when there is a sale or transaction subject to the condition not to use or acquire, sell or provide the goods or services produced, processed, distributed or marketed by a third party.

It further declares, that the violations to the law produced their effects on the market, with the conclusion of contracts for the supply of beer conditioned with covenants of exclusivity, which were presented in different modalities including the figure of the loan, with exclusivity clauses with regard to the sale of the product beer of the defendant; monopolistic practices that are defined as illegal, therefore prohibited, in accordance with the laws of competition in Panama.

In accordance with the judgment issued by the Third Superior Court of Justice, and once enforced the same, ACODECO, through the National Directorate of Free Competition, imposes the maximum administrative sanction for monopolistic practices, as indicated in the prior law 29 of 1996, in the amount of B/. 50,000.00.

http://www.acodeco.gob.pa/acodeco/view_noticias.php?id_noticia=1324&pagi=0

Edited by Keith Woolford

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On 5/9/2018 at 9:34 AM, Keith Woolford said:

ACODECO has fined Cerveceria Nacional (Balboa, Atlas, Pepsi-Cola) and it's subsidiaries $50,000 for monopolistic practices.

By judgment of 30 November 2017, the Third Superior Court of the First Judicial District of Panama, confirms the Judgment No. 109-15 of 22 December 2015 of the Ninth Civil Circuit, in which it is stated that the economic group formed by CERVECERÍA NACIONAL, S.A. AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES DISTRIBUTOR COMERCIAL S.A., refreshments, S.A. AND FINANCIAL PASADENA, S.A. (merged with National Drinks, S.A. surviving this last), engaged in monopolistic practices, in accordance with the provisions of articles 5 and 14, paragraph 4, both of the Law 29 of 1 February 1996, now articles 7 and 16, paragraph 4 of the Law 45 of 31 October 2007.

Violations of the rules of competition originated in response to the economic group, in the exercise of its substantial market power, raised barriers to entry in the channel of distribution of the product called beer, and/or prevented the permanence and entry of their only direct competitor, a shift in drug abuse characterized as illegal when there is a sale or transaction subject to the condition not to use or acquire, sell or provide the goods or services produced, processed, distributed or marketed by a third party.

It further declares, that the violations to the law produced their effects on the market, with the conclusion of contracts for the supply of beer conditioned with covenants of exclusivity, which were presented in different modalities including the figure of the loan, with exclusivity clauses with regard to the sale of the product beer of the defendant; monopolistic practices that are defined as illegal, therefore prohibited, in accordance with the laws of competition in Panama.

In accordance with the judgment issued by the Third Superior Court of Justice, and once enforced the same, ACODECO, through the National Directorate of Free Competition, imposes the maximum administrative sanction for monopolistic practices, as indicated in the prior law 29 of 1996, in the amount of B/. 50,000.00.

 

 

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Panama: Brewery Appeals Fine

Stating that there are enough elements to reduce the amount, the National Brewery has appealed the fine of $50 thousand imposed by Acodeco, after it was accused of alleged monopolistic practices.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Following the Acodeco's decision, through the National Directorate of Free Competition, to impose the maximum administrative penalty for monopolistic practices of $50 thousand on Cervecería Nacional, the company has filed an appeal in which it requests that the amount of the established fine be modified.

See "Alcoholic beverage market in Central America"

For its part Acodeco reported that " ... at the time of establishing the sanction, the process was 'moderate and fair', and the factors to determine the amount of the fine were: the seriousness of the fault, the size of the company, if there is recidivism and any other aggravating or mitigating circumstance to the anti-competitive act, where it can not be overlooked that the violation of the norm was carried out by an economic group made up of four companies."

See also "Production of alcoholic beverages grows 5%"

An article in Laestrella.com.pa adds that " ... in order to determine the sanction, the legal personnel took into account Law 29 of February 1, 1996, which was in force at the time when the anti-competitive conduct took place, whose maximum penalty for this type of behavior is $50,000, an amount that does not satisfy the market restriction that the company Cervecería Nacional and its subsidiaries committed."

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Panama_Brewery_Appeals_Fine

 

 

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Here is an unedited machine translation of the referenced news release by ACODECO:

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ACODECO imposes more than 120 thousand balboas in fines, for failure to retire

The breach of Law 6 of 1987, which confers benefits to retirees, pensioners and the elderly, from January to December 21, 2018, has been subject to 487 sanctions in the first instance to different economic agents.

The total fines imposed is B / .120,400.00 sum that is deposited to the FEJUPEN account.

Regarding the reasons for the sanctions, according to the Fines Board available at www.acodeco.gob.pa, the restaurants top the list with 283, the cases related to the interest rate (18), local without having the sign of the discounts (36), hotels, motels and pensions (25), public transport (30), are the processes that lead the statistics in the current year, for the total value of fines imposed.

The discounts for the aforementioned activities are in the order of 25% for restaurants and 15% for franchises; in lodging sites indicated above, it is valid 50% from Monday to Thursday, while from Friday to Sunday, the benefit is 30%.

In terms of banks, financial institutions, cooperatives and credit institutions, 15% is the discount in the maximum interest rate, in personal or commercial loans. The 1% discount on the interest rate on mortgage loans is also valid (with the exception of preferential rates).

The administrator of the ACODECO, Oscar García Cardoze, stressed that the fines this year, not only have been for complaints from the beneficiaries, especially retirees, but also by verifications ex officio. It is mandatory that the discounts contemplated in Law 6, are in view of the beneficiaries. The lack of these signs is sanctioned by this institution.

It should be noted that the beneficiaries of Law 6 of 1987 are Panamanians or foreigners residing in the national territory who are 55 years old or older, if they are women; or 60 years or more if they are men, and all retirees and pensioners by any gender.

 

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Here is an unedited machine translation of the referenced news release by ACODECO:

This is a markedly better translation than most, Bud. What translation program is it?

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That’s a surprise. I generally find Google translation to border on gibberish. In fact, I had Google in mind when I wrote my post. I have to wonder if they’ve upgraded their program.

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Panamanian entity resolves 113 complaints about $ 15,695 in Christmas purchases

Tue, 12/25/2018 - 10:39

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The Consumer Protection Authority (Acodeco) of Panama reported today that in the "Christmas 2018" operation carried out at the national level managed to resolve about 113 consumer complaints in the amount of $ 15,695.

This economic figure exceeded that of 2017, which stood at $ 15,651, where 123 consultations were reconciled in various centers and commercial areas throughout the country. The claims were based mainly on breaches of warranty, as well as defective goods.

"The main advantage in these special operations, is that the consumer was accompanied by our officials and was able to reconcile on site, earning compliance with their right and trade, advice to not make the same mistake," said the general manager de la Acodeco, Oscar Garcia.

In the operation, 33 anomalies were also found around discounts for retirees; 102 cases related to advertising and 484 faults on sight prices, among others.

The authority emphasized to the buyers to have a list of priorities in the last purchases of the year, as well as to take the necessary previsions to avoid economic deficiencies that this implies.

Usually, during the Christmas season merchants prepare offers and discounts with the purpose of attracting more consumers.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/panamanian-entity-resolves-113-complaints-about-15695-christmas-purchases-8766

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Consumer protection body swoops on non-payers

acodeco.jpg

Posted 31/07/2020

Panama’s  Consumer Protection Authority  (Acodeco), managed to collect $199,383.01,  in the first half of the year through “coercive processes”  carried out by its Executing Court, in each of its regional agencies and the headquarters.

Acodeco has the power to exercise coercive action targeting those who fail to pay imposed penalties .imposed. More than $7 million have been recovered  in recent years
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/consumer-protection-body-swoops-on-non-payers

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