Through Resolution 283/2021 of the Ministry of Internal Trade, published in the Official Gazette on March 31, 2021, a Sign and Label Inspection System (SiFiRE in Spanish) is created in Argentina in order to strengthen actions for protection of the consumers.
The aim of the measure is “to prevent misguidance in the information contained on the sign or labels of certain products while guaranteeing fair competition and transparency between the different goods available on the shelves.”
In this way, it seeks to arbitrate the matter about the use of ambiguous phrases, incomplete expressions and information gaps to achieve commercial advantages, behaviors that end up inducing consumers to a decision based on information that violates the applicable information regime.
The measure will apply to the signs and labels of products that are released from April 30, 2021 for marketing in Argentina and belonging to the food, beverages, drinkable food, hygiene, perfumery, personal care and domestical cleaning fit for human consumption and manipulation markets.
Thus, the manufacturer, importer and/or distributor of said products must submit -before its commercialization-, the signs and labels to the inspection procedure before the Undersecretariat of Internal Commerce. Said signs and labels may not contain information on offers, promotions or discounts that cannot be guaranteed in their subsequent commercialization.
The procedure is carried out online and the documentation on the labels and signs must be attached:
Once presented, it will be examined and a resolution will be issued within a period of 10 (ten) days; In the absence of resolution, compliance with said labels/signs will be presumed.
If it is noticed that the sign or label of a product seriously or irreparably affects the rights of consumers, the supplier or importer may be ordered that a sticker or decal must be placed on the product container or that any other suitable means must be used – at its expense – to correct the breach noted and until the infringing sign or label is completely withdrawn from the market.
Sanctions in case of non-compliance are those provided for in Law No. 24,240 on Consumer Defense and Decree 274/19 on Commercial Loyalty.
It is important to notice that the authorities are placing special focus on the control of companies that are part of the production chain, seeking to protect the figure of consumers, who have been greatly affected by the pandemic.
If you need a detailed analysis or a legal opinion on the signs or labels of products, do not hesitate to contact our expert María Nájera firstname.lastname@example.org.