Consumer Protection in Panama
Due to its status as an international commerce and trade hub, the Panamanian government created Law 45 on October 31, 2007. This law prohibits unfair and monopolistic trade practices. It also regulates consumer relations and specifies consumer rights, including the responsibilities of suppliers to the consumer.
Article 35 of this law states the rights of consumers. This article includes consumers’ right to be protected against products or services that represent a risk or danger to their lives, health, or physical safety. Additional rights outlined are:
- The right to receive from suppliers all information on the characteristics of the product or service offered
- The right to have access to a variety of products and services
- The right to be protected in their economic interests, through fair treatment, in any consumer relationship
Furthermore, consumers have the right to be heard individually or collectively by the corresponding institutions. The right to receive education and guidance in order to be properly informed is also provided. This right to education and guidance helps to create a balanced and transparent consumer relation.
In addition, the Consumer Protection and Competition Authority (ACODECO), the Public Services Regulatory Agency, the Superintendency of Banks, the Superintendency of Insurance, and the Superintendency of the Securities Market were created and given authority regarding consumer protection matters.
Starting a complaint process typically includes filling out a form in the ACODECO website with details about the case. Evidence such as receipts, contracts, or invoices, with their respective copies, must also be provided. If the person filing the complaint is Panamanian, they must present their ID or cedula along with a copy. If the person filing the complaint is a foreigner, the passport must be included.
The Kraemer & Kraemer team is qualified to assist and provide you with legal advice in real estate, automotive, industrial, intellectual property and trademark consumer protection, as well as to represent you before the respective authorities. Contact us to know more about your case or to learn more about Panamanian consumer protection regulations.