The Recall of Products in Nicaragua

Posted by: Claraliz Oviedo | Senior Associate at Alvarado y Asociados

We all expect that a product under normal or reasonable conditions of use will not present any risk or at least minimal risks. To this effect, the supplier of a product usually offers a series of guarantees to ensure that said risks will be compatible with the use considered acceptable thereof and consistent with a high level of protection for the safety and health of the people who use or consume such products.

Unfortunately, there are unforeseen risks that require immediate solutions or application of specific measures to eliminate or reduce the danger, risk caused or likely to be caused in the use of some products, including among them, the recall of products from the market.

In Nicaragua, withdrawals of products from the market are regulated by Law No. 842, "Law for the Protection of the Rights of Consumers and Users," which entered into force in October 2013 ("Consumers Law") and its Regulations, Decree No. 36-2013. Said law is of public order and social interest and establishes certain rights and obligations within a consumption relationship, or in a preliminary stage, within the national territory, applicable to all suppliers, whether individuals or legal entities, national or foreign. The rights contained in the Consumer Law cannot be waived and are recognized as human rights in favor of consumers.

The authority in charge of the application of the Law and its Regulation is the General Directorate for the Protection of the Rights of Consumers and Users (DIPRODEC), an instance of the Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce (MIFIC).

Article 15 of the Law provides that in the event that goods are offered on the market in which the existence of unforeseen hazards for the health and physical safety of consumers and users is subsequently detected, the supplying person will be obliged to adopt all the necessary measures to eliminate or reduce the danger or risk caused by them.

In these cases the supplying person must immediately notify the competent authorities so that they are removed, destroyed, repaired, replaced, or temporarily retained as appropriate.

The Regulation indicates that the supplying person must immediately communicate this fact, at least by a national radio, written or television medium, in order to inform consumers of the danger. Likewise, you must proceed on your own to suspend the sale and withdrawal of the products immediately.

In the notice made by suppliers about the danger of use or consumption of a product, they must inform the available places to receive the products that were sold and proceed to repair, exchange or refund the payment made for the goods, as appropriate.

It is important to highlight that if a supplier fails to comply with the provisions set forth above, DIPRODEC will proceed with the withdrawal of the products and order the supplying person so that within a period of fifteen working days, as appropriate, the repair, replacement, return of the money paid for the goods or the destruction of them.

There is specific regulation for each type of product, including food, medicines, medical devices and others, for which it is essential to determine the competent authority, both DIPRODEC, Ministry of Health and other entities that may be applicable according to the nature of the product to meet procedures applicable, recommendations, regulations, guidelines and other tools that can be provided to always guarantee the quality of the products or measures to be taken in these scenarios. Also have defined and implemented preventive measures, harmonize criteria, standardize procedures and in the event of an incident define responsibilities and processes for rapid and effective withdrawals from the market.

The responsibility belongs to everyone, a process of recalling a product can be initiated both by the authority, as well as by notice of the supplier or us, the consumers.

For more information please contact Claraliz Oviedo coviedo@alvaradoyasociadoslegal.com 

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