, GUATEMALA – The Importance of Law 5082 Initiative and Its Impact on Consumer Protection

GUATEMALA – The Importance of Law 5082 Initiative and Its Impact on Consumer Protection

On February 15, 2024, the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala approved the third revision of Law 5082, establishing the Framework Law for the Defense and Protection of Consumers and Users. This approval occurred in the context of promoting various regulations that will influence Guatemala’s international market model, including the Competition Law, the Credit Card Law, among others, potentially enhancing Guatemala’s position in the global consumer market.

It is now well understood through experience that demanding quality products and fostering competition is achieved through consumers educated in health, safety, and efficiency in their consumption relationships. These consumption relationships have transcended territorial barriers, with production chains spanning multiple countries, necessitating specific and updated regulations in this area.

Law 5082 introduces several noteworthy and distinguishing points from the current legislation:

– The law sets a baseline for the defense of consumers and users, allowing for improvements but not permitting fewer rights and guarantees than those established by the law.

– It establishes vicarious liability for those dependent in the production chain.

– It mandates objective liability for providers in consumer relations.

– Regarding arbitration, it enables arbitration in consumer relations through an arbitration agreement, including the prominent clause: “THIS CONTRACT INCLUDES ARBITRATION AGREEMENT,” in accordance with Guatemala’s arbitration law.

– Written consent is required from both parties, and opting for arbitration results in withdrawal of action before regulatory bodies.

– It specifies that claims can be based on written or verbal contracts, national or international, and can involve individual or mass claims.

As a result of these provisions, Guatemala is already advancing through the IBT Arbitration Center on regulations for mass claims arising from consumer relations. We celebrate Law 5082 and look forward to providing practical implementation updates in Guatemala soon.

María Eugenia Ferreyra
Director of the Arbitration and ADR Department

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