On Wednesday July 13, 2016, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice admitted the unconstitutionality action against the Executive Decree No. 39 dated June 16, 2016, published in the Official Gazette No. 112, Volume No. 411, of the same date, by which Article 67-I of the Regulation of the Electricity General Law was amended in the sense of incorporating a new fee to the system called "charge for social investment", which would be calculated quarterly as a value of 13% of the value of the average price of the energy translatable to tariffs. The amendment also established that the amounts resulting from the application of the aforementioned charge would be collected and transferred monthly by the Transactions Unit to theComisión Ejecutiva Hidroeléctrica del Río Lempa (CEL). With the admission of the unconstitutionality action, the Constitutional Chamber also decided to provisionally suspend the application of the charge for social investment at a rate of 13% to the average value of the translatable electricity rates registered in the quarter of April to June 2016. The new charge would have been effective on Friday, July 15, 2016.

The action was admitted in order to determine whether the said charge for social investment:

  1. Truly constitutes a tax consistent of 13% of the value of the average price of translatable electricity rates for the previous quarter, in violation of the principle of reservation of tax law established in Article 131 ordinal 6 of the Constitution of the Republic ; and,
  2. Neglects the budgetary principle of a regulated single-till in the first part of Article 224 paragraph 1, in conjunction with Article 131 ordinal 8, both of the Constitution the Republic, given the destination of the amounts resulting from the application of the charge.

You can access the admission of the action here. (Available only in Spanish)