As it is common knowledge, a consumer relationship is born or established with the linkbetween the consumer, supplier and the service or product contracted commercially. Under this context and, as an alternative extrajudicial means of resolving conflicts that may arisein a consumer relationship, there is the CONSUMER ARBITRATION SYSTEM (SISAC),which is regulated in Article 137 and following of the Code of Consumer Protection andDefense¹ and the Regulations of the Consumer Arbitration System².
The Consumer Arbitration Board is the body in charge of organizing and promoting ConsumerArbitration, processing arbitration requests submitted by consumers and providingadministrative support to the Arbitration Courts in charge of resolving disputes. This Board ismade up of a Chairman and a Technical Secretary.
Although the Consumer Arbitration Boards may be constituted by INDECOPI and operateunder agreement with this institution, in regional and local governments or in public law entitiesor legal entities; currently there is only a Pilot Consumer Arbitration Board operating atINDECOPI’s headquarters, which receives and processes arbitration requests from all localitiesin the country.
The following is a summary of some of the particularities, characteristics and other aspectscontemplated by SISAC³:
To resolve with binding character, free of charge and producing the effects of res judicata,disputes arising between consumers and suppliers within the framework of a consumerrelationship.
2.1.- It is unidirectional: Consumer arbitration is activated only with the order placed by theConsumer.
2.2.- It is Voluntary: It requires the consent of the Consumer and the Supplier to use it.
How does the Supplier demonstrate its consent to participate in the Arbitration?
a.- Arbitration Agreement: When the Supplier and Consumer have agreed on writing thatthey wish to settle their dispute through consumer arbitration.
b.- Adhesion: When the Supplier, prior to the initiation of a dispute, is affiliated to SISACbefore the National Authority of Consumer Protection of Indecopi. This adhesion is limited foreach supplier, it decides the line of products or services and maximum amounts to be submittedto arbitration.
c.- Acceptance of a specific case:
When the Supplier, when consulted by the Arbitration Board, accepts consumer arbitration forthe solution of a specific case.
2.3.- It is free of charge: The Consumer or Supplier is not required to pay administrative orarbitration fees.
2.4.- It is Binding: The Award issued is mandatory for the supplier and consumer, it has thequality of res judicata.
2.5.- It is Fast: The maximum term to resolve the consumer controversy is 45 working days.
2.6.- It is Confidential: The intervening parties are obliged to maintain confidentiality regardingthe dispute being resolved through consumer arbitration.
2.7.- Possibility of granting Compensation: The Consumer may request indemnificationprovided that he/she proves the damage caused.In the case of the Affiliated Provider, it may only cover indemnity for pecuniary damage;personal or moral damage shall be the exclusive competence of the Judiciary.
2.8.- It is exclusive: The arbitration process excludes the sanctioning procedure against theSupplier, it is released from imposition of sanctions or fines.
2.9.- It is Specialized: The Arbitration Tribunals are made up of specialized professionals, sincethere is a Single Registry of Arbitrators of
As a general rule, the Arbitral Tribunal is made up of a sole arbitrator; however, if theamount is greater than 3 ITU, the Tribunal may exceptionally be collegiate when the parties so agree.
3.- The Consumer Arbitration System, as a complement to other dispute resolution mechanisms,is beneficial for the consumer relationship between the Consumer and the Supplier, as itprovides an additional tool for the benefit of this commercial relationship, which can beactivated in the event of the possibility of a conflict arising from the service or productcontracted.
1. Law 29571 – Code of Consumer Protection and Defense.
2. Supreme Decree No. 103-2019-PCM – Regulation of the Consumer Arbitration System.
3. Source: Consumer Protection Commission of INDECOPI