New Consumer Protection Laws in Panama

This week President Juan Carlos Varela amended Panama’s Consumer Protection act. One of the amendments prevents tips or gratuities from being included in the total of any bill of sale.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Communication to the state ”The new rule states that the tip or gratuity for service is voluntary, so it will not be included as an additional charge to the price agreed upon or announced, except in the case of services charges in which it is stated there is a the gratuity charge.”

It is important to note that a tip may still be suggested, however this total specified on the bill must display clearly differentiated.

Another stipulation in the new legislation pertains to parking services.

If a establishment charges for parking a sign must be displayed indicating that parking is not free. The sign must read "This place does not offer free parking to their customers"rates and conditions of service must also be posted.

The new legislation also spoke to the proper display of price on consumer goods. The law states that in any establishment selling goods must clearly and accurately label the merchandise with a price for the public to see.

“Any practice that misleads the consumer on the price of goods or services is prohibited," said the statement.