Procedure for authorizing the promotions requested before the SUNDDE
Administrative Ruling No. 077/2014, issued by the National Superintendence for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights (Superintendencia Nacional para la Defensa de los Derechos Socioeconómicos - “SUNDDE”) (the “Ruling”), was published in Official Gazette No. 40,571 of December 30, 2014. Said Ruling establishes the requirements and procedures for authorizing promotions and offers (discounts) of goods and services, as well as the requirements to be met by such promotions and offers in order to be authorized by SUNDDE.
National or foreign, natural and legal persons of public or private law that develop economic activities in the country and those acting as intermediaries of the same for the exclusive performance of the advertising and offer (discount) are subject to the application of the procedure established in the Ruling. The purpose of the Ruling is to regulate the conditions and forms of such practices in order to protect people, considered in an individual and in a collective manner, from subliminal, false, or deceptive publicity or advertising or advertising or publicity with a content that affects or impairs the rights established in the protection systems legally established in the country.
False or deceptive advertising will be understood as any type of information or communication of a commercial character in which texts, dialogues, images, or descriptions are used that directly or indirectly, or even by omission, may induce to deceit, error or confusion by individuals in relation to (i) the geographic, commercial, or another type of origin of the good offered or the place of provision of the service agreed or the technology used; (ii) the benefits or implications of the use of the good or of contracting the service; (iii) the basic characteristics of the product to be sold or service to be provided; (iv) the manufacture date or service life of the good; (v) the terms of the guarantees offered; (vi) the national or foreign, official or private recognitions, approvals or distinctions, such as medals, prizes, trophies, or diplomas; (vii) the price of the good or service offered, methods of payment, and credit costs and (viii) any other data about the product or service.
The documents required in order to request the authorization for making promotions must be filed with the Intendancy of Protection of Socioeconomic Rights; they must be duly identified, legible, and organized in the order established in the Ruling and in the set of regulations issued to that end. Likewise, the requirements must include the updated certificate of registration with the Single Registry of Individuals that Perform Economic Activities (Registro Único de Personas que Desarrollan Actividades Económicas - “RUPDAE”) and the cost structure of the goods and services intended to be promoted. The files presented may not contain more than one (1) request for authorization, which must refer to only one activity to be performed by the company.
The individuals/entities subject to the application of the Decree with the Status, Value and Force of Organic Law of Fair Prices (“OLFP”) must file the requests for authorization of promotions of goods and services in a period of time not shorter than fifteen (15) days before the date of beginning of the promotion. The Intendancy of Protection of Socioeconomic Rights will issue an answer to the request in a maximum period of five (5) business days as from the date of receipt of the request.
The promotions authorized may in no case exceed three (3) calendar months after the date when they began to be valid. Should the authorization be denied, the interested party may file the request again after correcting the errors and observing the periods of time established. No extensions of promotions will be granted.
The products offered (discounts) or promoted at prices of sale to the public lower than those marked or announced in the corresponding lists will be exhibited in preference to the similar ones with higher prices. Likewise, the sale of stock the prices of which have been increased must be exhibited in preference to those offered (discounts). Failure to comply with the foregoing will be penalized as prescribed in the OLFP.
The competent authority may not authorize and will therefore deny promotions that (i) are contrary to public order, moral customs, and other principles prescribed in the Venezuelan legislation; (ii) establish prices that are not within the legal limits of the rules on fair costs and prices and (iii) are presented by individuals/entities to whom/which a penalty of those prescribed in the juridical frame of the regulation of prices and costs has been imposed, when the penalty becomes final without full payment having been received or without a payment agreement having been agreed and being faithfully complied with. The administrative appeals provided in the legislation in force may be filed against the denial of an authorization.
In the following cases, no authorization of the Intendancy of Protection of Socioeconomic Rights will be required: (i) boost of a product (if there are offers (discounts), the relevant authorization must be required); (ii) food tasting (permits must be requested from the Ministry of the Popular Power for Health and other relevant entities); (iii) free samples and (iv) simple advertising of goods and/or services.
In the case of raffles and contests, the Ruling establishes specific requirements and the responsible company must subsequently notify the Intendancy of Protection of Socioeconomic Rights of the results of the winner(s), within five (5) business days following the date when the raffle or contest was made.
The Ruling repealed Administrative Ruling No. 004/2014 of April 15, 2014, published in Official Gazette No. 40,397 of April 23, 2014.
The Ruling became effective on December 30, 2014.
In order to access the Ruling, please click here.
“NOTE: THIS INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE ON ANY SPECIFIC MATTER AND ITS CONTENT ARE INTENDED AS A MANAGEMENT ALERT AS TO CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN VENEZUELA, ANY SPECIFIC LEGAL QUESTIONS REGARDING THE POSSIBLE APPLICATION OF NEW OR PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO PARTICULAR SITUATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO TRAVIESO EVANS ARRIA RENGEL & PAZ.”