In Argentina there are specific rules to protect consumers, both at the national and provincial level.

At the national level, the major provisions are Articles 42 and 43 of the National Constitution and the Consumer Defense Law No 24,240 (the LDC), which was amended several times since 1993. The most significant amendment took place in 2008.

The main things to be taken into account with the LDC are the following:

  • A consumer is entitled to accurate, clear, detailed and free information on the product or service;
  • All participants in the marketing chain are jointly and severally liable for any damage caused by risks or defects of the item sold, including producers, manufacturers, importers, distributors, suppliers, sellers and whoever places its brand on the thing or service. A carrier is only liable for damage resulting from the transport. A party is only released from such liability if it shows that it was unrelated to the cause of the damage;
  • A national or local authority is empowered to investigate violations to this law and determine various penalties. The main penalty is a fine from Arg$ 100 to Arg$ 5,000,000;
  • In certain cases, a class action is available in defense of certain undefined groups of consumers;
  • In addition to compensation of damages sustained by a consumer, a court is specifically empowered to oblige the company to pay punitive damages to the consumer involved. The amount can be up to Arg$ 5,000,000;
  • In the event of an action, the company is obliged to cooperate with the court proceedings and submit any evidence it has;
  • A consumer commencing a lawsuit has the benefit of free justice, which enables the consumer to avoid the 3 % litigation tax and, according to certain courts, also avoid payment of other litigation expenses.

Controlling observance of the LDC and other supplementary rules, at the national level, is a responsibility of the Under-secretariat for Consumer Defense, within the National Ministry of Economy and, at the local level, of various provincial or city authorities. All such authorities have the power to initiate investigations, take preventive action and, at the national and local level, determine penalties.

At present, in Argentina there is a constant process of improving and increasing provisions protecting consumer rights, and also growing interest by authorities and non-governmental organizations in the matter.

  ©Bulló – Tassi – Estebenet – Lipera – Torassa. Abogados.
This document is only intended to provide guidance on the main topics of Argentine regulations, and does not constitute advice of any kind whatsoever.
Latest update: August 2012.