Puerto Rico Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO) Extends Prize Freeze and Imposes Sell Mandate and Reporting Requirements in Response to CODIV-19

Today (March 14, 2020), DACO issued Order 2020-06 to amend the previous order (2020-05) freezing the prices of the following products:

  • Canned foods, water, ice, milk, baby formula, coffee, all grains and nutrition bars.  This order specifically excludes meats and fresh foods;
  • Any fuels, such as gasoline, kerosene, diesel, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and its components, analogs, substitutes, derivatives and any variants, all destined to produce energy;
  • Reservoirs and water tanks, as well as gasoline tanks and containers;
  • Paper towels, toilet paper and feminine products;
  • Any other item or service which consumers may reasonably need to prepare or recover from an emergency situation.

DACO also issued Order 2020-07 which requires all retailers or merchants that sell any of the products with prices frozen under Orders 2020-05 and 2020-06 to make these products available to consumers.  This order is subject to the availability of such products to the merchants.  In addition, retailers must submit a report listing the availability of these products within three (3) days of the enactment of the Order.  This report must be sent to DACO, to the attention of Camille Garcia, to the following email address: cigarcia@daco.pr.gov.  The report must include the following information:

  • Name of the retailer or merchant;
  • Physical and postal address;
  • Name of contact person;
  • Types of products with frozen prices sold;
  • Availability of each product at the time the order was issued;
  • Cost of acquisition of each product;
  • Price of each product;
  • Expectations of availability of each products in the next week, including future arrivals and identity of supplier of each product.

During the time Order 2020-07 stays in effect, retailers must update the report every seven (7) days from the date in which the original report is submitted to the Department.

Any retailer that refuses to sell any product listed in Orders 2020-05 and 2020-06 despite its availability will be subject to administrative fines of up to $10,000 per each violation.