On February 9, 2021, Law No. 1061 Law of Reforms and Additions to the Law for the Protection of Consumers and Users Rights was published in The Official Gazette and the amendments consist of:
- With the reform to article 5, the Government and its institutions will be considered a consumer or user when they contract goods or services, this would grant them the same rights and prerogatives contemplated in Law 842, that is, among others, the providers could not refuse without express justification the provision of a service or cancel a contract.
- The reforms extend the concept of financial services, establishing that all the services privided by financial entities, whatever their nature, should be provided in an equitable manner to both private and government entities, since under the protection of the law, they will have the same rights and prerogatives.In this regard, the numeral 2 of article 54 is amended to establish that government entities, as well as any other type of consumers or users, have the right to access to the various financial services offered by the financing entities and, otherwise, to be notified about the cancellation or denial of a service in a “verifiable” manner, which we understand is for evidentiary purposes for complaints or subsequent appeals before the competent authority.
- It is also established that suppliers must provide the service required by any natural or legal person, including the government, provided that they meet the requirements established in the Nicaraguan legal system.
- Additionally, the obligation to restore the provision of goods or services that has been denied to the consumer or user is established.
In the same sense, it is important to mention that consumers have the right to complain before the regulatory body for the non-provision or suspension of a good or service and demand its restitution. Otherwise, the provisions of the regulations that will be issued by the corresponding authorities will be applied in which the sanctions must adhere to what is contained in law, that is:
Low sanctions: 1 to 100 units of measure.
Serious sanctions: 101 to 250 units of measure.
Very serious sanctions: 251 to five hundred units of measure.
However, when suppliers are sanctioned for affecting collective interests, the fine may be up to one thousand units of measure.
In addition to these reforms, a subsection is added to article 6 of the law, this in relation to the right that consumers have to be notified of the refusal in relation to the provision of a service or of the decision to suspend it, as well as that it must be legally justified and that the supplier must send the same notification to the regulatory body.
Finally, we can say that being the government and its institutions considered as a consumer, have the same rights as any natural or legal person within the national territory and consequently, companies (suppliers) may not:
- Refusing to render any service or provide goods requested by the Government, its institutions or any natural or legal person
- Rescind a contract without legal justification and prior notification to the consumer and regulatory entity.
- Financial entities may not refuse to provide any of their services to state entities or legal or natural persons that meet the requirementsestablished in the Nicaraguan legal system.
If you have any doubts about, please do not hesitate to contact us.