30th March 2023
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has today launched a public consultation on the EU proposal for a new directive on liability for defective products. This proposal revises the existing Product Liability Directive, adopted nearly 40 years ago. Since then, there have been several developments that have impacted the existing product liability directive, including changes in consumer expectations, the digital age, circular economy business models and global value chains.
Minister Richmond welcomed the EU proposal commenting:
“This proposal is a very positive development; clarity on what products and businesses fall under the directive will provide certainty for companies and consumers alike. The revised financial threshold for making a claim will also help customers who have been injured due to a defective product. I would encourage consumers and businesses to contribute to the consultation to make their views known.”
The department seeks submissions from all interested parties.
Link to the EU proposal:
Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on liability for defective products
The consultation document can be found on the department’s website at:
Public consultation on EU proposal for a directive on liability for defective products
Respondents are requested to make their submissions by email to email@example.com.
The closing date for receipt of submissions is close of business on Thursday, 27 April 2023.
Notes for editor
During 2021 the European Commission carried out an evaluation of the existing Product Liability Directive (PLD), a public consultation and stakeholder workshops. As a result, the Commission identified two areas of concern.
The first related to accountability. It was unclear who would be liable when a product that has been modified, or remanufactured is defective and causes harm. In addition, it has become increasingly common for consumers to purchase products from non-EU countries without there being a producer or importer based in the EU. This means there is no one to seek compensation from if a product is defective and causes harm.
The second concerned the obstacles facing consumers in receiving compensation. It is proposed to remove the minimum financial threshold of €500, which would allow claimants to bring actions of any value under the PLD and making it clearer to identify who is liable when a business substantially modifies a product that is already on the market.
On 28 September 2022, the Commission published the Proposal for the PLD.
The general objective of this Directive is to continue to ensure the functioning of the internal market, free movement of goods and undistorted competition between market operators and to continue to ensure a high level of protection of consumers’ health and property whilst providing legal certainty to businesses.
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