ANGELICA NOBOA PAGAN
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Jacinto Mañón St. #25, Edf. Profesional JM
Suite 204 Ens. Paraíso
Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional
Dominican Republic
PHONE: 809.472-5753
FAX: 809.563-9877

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Q & A

Yes, Law 48-02, on Competition Defense was enacted on January 16, 2009.
The General Law on Competition Defense seeks to prevent the execution of restrictive business practices (price fixing, market sharing, price discrimination, among others) by undertakings, to the detriment of the market and finally the consumers.
Its publication and subsequent implementation will provide a higher rate of legal certainty and protection of legitimate expectations, strengthening in this way our rule of law. The text has 32 pages and 70 articles divided into 4 Parts:

I. Of free and fair competition;
II. Of National Competition Authorities;
III Enforcement procedure, and
IV. Transitory Provisions.
 
In addition, the Dominican legal system contains other legal tools to ensure fair competition in the market. Namely:
Several special laws (energy, telecommunications, e-commerce, banking, social security, aviation, antidumping, IP, etc.) provide special rules and procedures for its protection.
In addition, the Dominican Republic has made certain commitments to monitoring business practices and monopoly providers in the General Agreement on Trade in Services of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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Is there legislation on consumer protection in the Dominican Republic?

Yes, our legal system contains the General Law 358-05on Consumer or User Rights Protection. 

It has the object to establish a state of defense of consumer and user rights which guarantees the equity and the legal security in the relations among suppliers, consumers of goods and users of services, whether they are of public or private law, nationals or foreigners, in harmony with the dispositions to the effect contained in the different sectors laws. 

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What are the amounts of the valid access charges in the Dominican Republic?

The applicable charges as of July 1st, 2009, are:

Local Traffic

US $0.0192

Local Transportation Traffic

US $0.01

National Traffic

US $0.0292

National Transportation Traffic

US $0.0292

Fixed Incoming Internacional Traffic

US $0.0192

Mobile Incoming Internacional Traffic

US $0.0192

Use of Access Codes (Local Traffic)

US $0.0192

Use of Access Codes
(Local Traffic + National Transportation)

US $0.0292

Mobile to Fixed and Mobile to Mobile

US $0.0720

Fixed to Mobile

US $0.0720

Calls to the Paging Systen

US $0.0192

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What are the benefits of the Law on Access to the Public Information?

By virtue of this new law, every person has the right to request and to receive opportune, adequate, truthful, and complete information, of any organization of the Dominican State, and of all the corporations, anonymous companies and stock owned companies with state participation, including: a) Agencies and companies of the centralized public administration; b) agencies and autonomous and/or decentralized entities of the State, including the National District and municipal agencies; c) agencies and autarkic and/or decentralized entities of the State, including the National District and municipal agencies; d) businesses and commercial companies property of the State; e) corporations and stock owned companies with state participation; f) agencies and institutions of private law that receive resources originating from the national budget for the attainment of its purpose; g) the Legislative Power, as for its administrative activities; h) The Judicial Power, as for its administrative activities.

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How will the disputes in the application of the Free Trade Agreement between Central America, Dominican Republic and United States of America be resolved?

According to the final text of the Free Trade Agreement among Central America, Dominican Republic and United States of America, the parties will cooperate so that the interpretation and application of the treaty, through consultations, permit to accomplish satisfactory solution on any matter which affects their operation. 

Nevertheless, the dispositions on dispute resolution agreed on the Treaty will be able to be applied, regarding its interpretation or application; each time that a contracting State considers that another contracting State has proposed or applied a measure inconsistent with the obligations agreed, that impedes the application of its obligations; or when a contracting State considers that a current or proposed measure is able annul or invalidate the sense of Annex 20.2. 

As all the signatories countries are Member States of the WTO, they will all have the prerogative to elect the forum for dispute settlements to initiate the process, when they initiate a claim of violation to the FTA. 

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Which are the acts of unfair competition prohibited and sanctioned by the Dominican legislation on Industrial Property?

De acuerdo con la Ley de Propiedad Industrial, constituyen actos de competencia desleal, entre otros:

  • The acts susceptible to cause confusion or a risk of association with regard to the products, services, business or the alien establishment;
  • To use or to spread indications or false allegations or unnecessarily abusive capable to defame or discredit the products, services, business or the alien establishment;
  • To use or spread indications or allegations susceptible to deceive or to cause error with regards to the business proceeding of geographical origin, the nature, the mode of production, the aptitude for its employment or consumption, the quantity or other characteristics of owned or alien products or services;
  • The acts that imply an undue advantage of the prestige or reputation of the person, business or third party distinctive signs;
  • The acts susceptible to damage or to dilute the prestige or the reputation of a person or of the business or distinctive signs of a third, even when such acts did not cause confusion;
  • Los actos susceptibles de causar confusión o un riesgo de asociación con respecto a los productos, los servicios, la empresa o el establecimiento ajenos;
  • Use as mark, commercial name or another distinctive business a sign whose registration is prohibited in compliance to Article 73, clauses g), h), i), j), k), l), ll), m), n) and ñ) of the same Law;
  • Using in trade a sign whose registration is prohibited in compliance to Article 74 of the Law, notwithstanding the dispositions on infraction of the rights on distinctive signs. 
  • Usar en el comercio un signo cuyo registro esté prohibido conforme el artículo 74 de la Ley, sin perjuicio de las disposiciones sobre infracción de los derechos sobre signos distintivos.

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Which are the services regulated by the Civil Aeronautics Law, its modifications and complementary regulations?

  • Air Services of Public Transportation;
  • Private Air Services;
  • Air Taxis;
  • Services of Air Work.

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Which are the fundamental clauses that should contain the contract for the acquisition of goods or the contracting of works and services under Law 340-06 on Purchases and Contracting of Goods, Services, Works and Concessions, dated August 18, 2006, modified by Law 449-06, dated December 6, 2006

  • Compensation for the rendered services, price, rate or subsidy agreed and any another fringe benefit explicitly stipulated;
  • Prohibition of the concessionaire to establish exemptions in favor of the users;
  • Guarantees, in the different phases of the concession, like works construction phase, phase of operation and exploitation;
  • Time limit of the concession;
  • Right of exploitation of the goods, works and main services and annexes to the works;
  • Right to the review of the economic regime and plans of the concession, by surviving causes;
  • Transfer of the concession;
  • Legal regime in the contracting-concessionary and concessionary-users relation;
  • Execution of environmental, accounting, and technical audits on the part of the Contracting Entity;
  • Responsibility and compensations for damages to third parties because of the construction and exploitation;
  • Insurance afforded by the dealer;
  • Fines and sanctions for breach of contract;
  • Cost of the project supervision by the concessionary through the Contracting Entity

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Which is the procedure for the issuance of bonds?

The national issuer that wishes to register a primary offering of negotiable instruments, in national or foreign currency, in the Stock Exchange of the Dominican Republic (BVRD in Spanish) shall follow this procedure: 

PHASE I

1. Submit to the BVRD, the file with each one of the documents that are delivered to the Superintendence of Securities of the Dominican Republic (SIV in Spanish), for their evaluation and/or approval of the public offering of securities, stated in chapter II.2 Art. 56 of the Stock Market law enforcement Regulation 729-04.  This with the purpose that the BVRD can proceed to evaluate the emission in question concomitantly with the regulatory authorities; reserving BVRD’s  right to request any additional documentation, even if it’s not requested by the SIV, for the purpose of protecting the interests of the stock market and of its participants. 

The previously mentioned documents are composed by: 

  • Constitutive documents of the issuer, duly certified, sealed and registered, company minutes and other authentic acts or under private signature relating to the company. 
  • Resolution or agreement emitted by the competent organization of the issuer authorizing the corresponding emission of securities. 
  • Contract model subscribed between the issuer, the holders representative and the extraordinary administrator, as per the case, for the emission of bonds. 
  • Contract model subscribed between the issuer and the investor for the emission of commercial papers or other representative titles of debt of short time limit. 
  • Contract model subscribed between the issuer and the other entities that participate in the process of issuance, placement and trade. 
  • Economic and financial information of the issuer and its related. 
  • Qualification of risk, in the cases of fixed yield securities. 
  • Securities placement prospect

2. Presenting a constancy that the documents aforementioned were delivered to the SIV for their evaluation, review and/or approval. 

PHASE II

If the Issuance of Public Offering is approved by the SIV, the applicant issuer shall present to the BVRD the following documents: 

3.  Letter-request of the legal representative of the issuing business, in original and copy, requesting the inscription of the issuer and of the issuance in the BVRD. 

4.  Certification of approval of the issuance of public offering in the Registration of Stock Market and Products offered by the SIV. 

The Issuance Evaluation Committee of the BVRD, notwithstanding the attributions that are of concern to the Counsel of Directors, has the faculty to authorize, suspend (subject to prior notification to the Superintendence of Securities), or to deny the inscription of the public offering of securities transactions in the BVRD, according to the dispositions of the Law, its Regulation, the regulations that to the effect dictates the Superintendence of Securities, as well as the internal rulings of the BVRD. 

PHASE III

If the Issuance of Public Offering is approved by the Issuance Evaluation Committee of the BVRD, the representative market position of the issuer shall: 

5.  Pay the amount fixed for the concept of Inscription of an issuer according to the stipulations of Chapter IX on Commissions and Rates of the Procedures Manual of the BVRD. 

6.  Pay the monthly maintenance of the inscription of the issuance, according to the stipulations of Chapter IX on Commissions and Rates of the Procedures Manual of the BVRD, when they have initiated the negotiations with the previously registered securities. 

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Is there a regulation on dumping and subsidies in the DR?

Yes. The Law on Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Measures was enacted on January 18, 2002 (Law 01-02). Law 01-02 incorporates the provisions of the WTO agreements, establishing standards for the investigations and the imposition of antidumping or countervailing measures on dumped imports or subsidies that cause or threaten to cause material injury to a branch of the domestic production, and the application of safeguard measures to cope with a massive increase in imports that cause or threaten to cause serious injury to a branch of domestic production.

Which is the competent authority to carry out compliance of the Law on Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Measures (Law 01-02)?

In accordance with Law No. 01-02, the Regulating Commission of Unfair Trade Practices and Safeguard Measures is the national authority responsible for conducting investigations and determining the application of antidumping, countervailing and safeguard measures.
It is a decentralized state entity, with functional, judicial, financial, own patrimony, and legal autonomy.
The Commission will have an organizational structure consisting of a Chairman and four (4) members appointed by the Executive Branch and 3 units of technical and administrative functions of operation, consultation and support.
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