All about the Dominican Republic

Marketing agreements in the Dominican Republic

Are marketing agreements regulated?

Agency

Contractual relations between the parties to any agency agreement in the Dominican Republic are regulated by Law No 173 of 6 April 1966 for the Protection of Agent Importers of Merchandise and Products (Law No 173), if the contracts are registered in the Legal Department of the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic. Law No 173 protects local agents from untimely termination or breach of a contract on the part of their foreign counterparts by providing considerable compensation in these cases. However, Law No 173 does not apply to agreements involving a party from the US, entered into after the United States-Dominican Republic and Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) came into force, unless the contract states otherwise.

Furthermore, the applicability of this law can be waived in agreements involving a party from any country that is part of the Protocol for the Implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Countries.

Distribution

Distribution agreements are regulated in the same way as agency agreements (see above, Agency).

Franchising

Franchising agreements are regulated in the same way as agency agreements (see above, Agency).

E-commerce

Are there any laws regulating e-commerce (such as electronic signatures and distance selling)?

The following laws regulate e-commerce:

  • The Electronic Commerce, Documents and Digital Signatures Law 126-02 (Electronic Commerce Law), which regulates all commercial relationships, contractual or non-contractual, that involve data messages or other similar methods, and Decree No 335-03, which enacts the regulations of the Electronic Commerce Law.
  • General Law of Telecommunications No 153-98 (May 1998). This law creates and regulates the Dominican Institute of Telecommunications. It is directly related to the Electronic Commerce Law and provides that the Dominican Institute of Telecommunications (Instituto Dominicano de las Telecomunicaciones) (INDOTEL) is the governmental institution in charge of the authorisation and supervision of the certification entities for electronic signatures.
  • Rules and regulations set by INDOTEL.

Advertising

In the Dominican Republic, there is no regulation of advertising per se, but there are several laws containing provisions regarding false or confusing advertising, or advertising that promotes any product, activity or relation with a third party that may result in unfair competition or affect consumer rights. Such laws are the following:

  • Law No 42-08 on Defence of Competition.
  • Law No 358-05 on the Protection of the Rights of the Consumer or User.
  • The General Health Law No 42-01 and the Drugs Ruling No 246-06, which contain certain provisions governing the advertising of drugs.

Data protection

Are there specific statutory data protection laws? If not, are there laws providing equivalent protection?

In the Dominican Republic, data protection is regulated by Law No 172-13 on the Protection of Personal Data. It regulates the protection, collection, management, access, update and transfer of personal information filed in public or private archives, public records, and data banks, or any other technical means intended to provide reports (whether public or private). To ensure the privacy and rights of those holding information, the law also regulates the:

  • Incorporation, organisation, activities, operations and extinction of credit information companies (sociedades de informaciĆ³n crediticia).
  • Provision of credit reference services and supply of credit information to the market.
  • In addition, Article 44 of the Dominican Constitution establishes as a fundamental right the protection of privacy and personal honour, under which every individual has the right of privacy. Respect and non-interference with privacy, family, home and correspondence of the individual is protected. Any authority or individual that violates these rights is obliged to compensate the affected individual under the Constitution. The Constitution also establishes the habeas data remedy, which allows any person to request any data held about them on a data register.
  • Additionally, there are isolated provisions regarding the protection of data in other laws, such as the Tax Code, Monetary and Financial Code, Criminal Code and Credit Bureaus Law, applicable to the sectors they regulate.

Product liability

How is product liability and product safety regulated?

Liability in general is governed by the principles of the Dominican Civil Code.Even though the Dominican Republic does not have specific rules on product liability, General Law No 358-05 on the Protection of Consumer Rights regulates:

  • Suppliers' warranty obligations.
  • Liability for the vices and defects in products, establishing a repair obligation that is without prejudice to remedies under civil and criminal law.

This law also provides for penalties and injunctive relief, as well as alternate and extrajudicial conflict resolution under the remit of the Pro-Consumer Direction Board.

Additionally, there are norms concerning specific items, issued by the Dominican Institute for Quality (Instituto Dominicano para la Calidad) (INDOCAL), regarding product safety.

 

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