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In brief

On 1 December 2022,  both the National Budget Law No. 27,701 (“Law“) and the enactment Decree 799/2022 were published in the Official Gazette. The Law introduces important changes regarding the maximum applicable sanctions applicable in consumer defense matters, as well as regarding punitive damages.


In focus

As regards penalties in consumer protection matters, the current wording of Section 47 Consumer Protection Law No. 24,240 (CPL) establishes fixed fines ranging from ARS 100 to ARS 5 million, depending on the circumstances of the case.

However, Section 119 of the Law amends Section 47(b) of the CPL and approves a new system in which the value of sanctions is variable. In this sense, the new wording sets forth that sanctions will range from 0.5 to 2,100 total basic baskets (CBT) for household type 3. The value of the CBT type 3 corresponds to an index that is published by INDEC and is updated monthly. For example, if the value of a CBT type 3 in October is ARS 146,973 (available here), the fines would range between ARS 73,486.50 and ARS 308,643,300.

Also, the cap applicable to determine punitive damages in a judicial stage is indirectly modified. This is because for purposes of establishing the cap amount, Section 52 bis of the CPL refers to Section 47(b) of the CPL.

Finally, the Law also modifies the means through which the condemnatory resolution or a summary of the facts that gave place to the same, the type of infringement committed — and the sanction applied — may be published. In this sense, the previous wording limited publication to a newspaper of great circulation. On the other hand, the new wording is expansive and sets forth that the enforcement authority will determine the means it considers most appropriate for the publication.

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Author

Roberto Grané is a transactional and regulatory partner in Baker McKenzie’s Buenos Aires office. He has been recognized as a leading practitioner by Chambers Latin America. Clients benefit from his more than 20 years of extensive domestic and international experience. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Roberto served as in-house counsel to one of the major telecommunications companies in Argentina, and a law clerk with the Civil Courts of Buenos Aires. He is a professor of contract law at the Buenos Aires University and a visiting professor in several local universities.

Author

Esteban Rópolo is an Attorney-at-law and member of the Buenos Aires Bar Association. He was a professor in leading universities in Argentina — including University of Buenos Aires, Argentina Catholic University and Universidad del CEMA — where he taught political economy, foreign trade legal regime and private law. Mr. Rópolo has written a book on competition law and also contributed articles related to his areas of practice.

Author

Rocio Caravello is an Attorney at Law in Baker McKenzie, Buenos Aires office.

Author

Valentina Salas is an Attorney at Law in Baker McKenzie Buenos Aires office.

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