Changes in the Fines of the Consumer Defense Law

A relevant change in the Consumer Defense Law (CDL) was enacted on 11/16/22, when the National Congress approved the draft General Budget of the National Administration for the fiscal year 2023.

The change consists of the modification of Article 47 of the CDL, which regulates the amount of the penalties for fines and the publication of the resolutions that determine them.

Previously, the text established that the fine sanction would be set between $100 and $5,000,000 Argentine Pesos, depending on the circumstances of the case. In this sense, the amendment establishes a system of fines to be updated between 0.5 and 2,100 “basic baskets for the household of 5 persons”, an index published by the INDEC (National Institute of Statistics and Census) which is updated monthly. 

The current value of the index corresponding to the month of November is $146.973, this index will be updated in a few days for the value of the month of December. That said, the maximum value of the fine will have a maximum increase of up to $283,191.363.

The innovation in the mentioned modification is the avoidance of the devaluation of the amount fixed for the fine, by replacing it with a monthly updated index.

This change also affects the figure of punitive damages, since article 52 bis of the CDL refers to article 47 to fix the amount of the civil fine in court. In other words, the new amount for punitive damages is $283,191,363 until the INDEC publishes the new value for the reference index.

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