Revision of the product liability directive

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EESK:s yttrande: Revision of the product liability directive

Key points

The EESC:

  • recognises the relevance of the civil liability regime set out in the Commission's proposal, which offers Europeans the means to obtain compensation for damage suffered as a result of a product defect;
  • notes that by definition, a no-fault liability regime aims to restore the balance between the rights of manufacturers and those of potential victims; calls on the co-legislators and national authorities to maintain the balance achieved in this proposal when adopting and transposing it;
  • therefore supports the need to ensure legal certainty for all: for the complainant by providing access to a simplified legal framework for obtaining compensation, and for the manufacturer, who can continue to innovate, all the while being aware of their liabilities and budgeting for their risks;
  • recognises that the revision of the Directive in question addresses numerous consumer demands, such as the identification of those liable, access to information and compensation, and extended coverage to cover digital and psychological damage;
  • acknowledges the need to adapt the regime to digital challenges and supports the measures put forward in the proposal to address them. The Committee also stresses the need to remain technologically neutral in managing product liability;
  • calls for the proposal to be aligned with the acquis communautaire regarding the definitions and hierarchy of liability, and also simplified, in line with the laws currently being adopted;
  • also calls for greater consistency in the wording of identical obligations, which have been described in different ways in different legal texts. The EESC recommends that measures be simplified rather than duplicated, in particular by referring to or extending existing obligations.

For more information please contact the INT Section Secretariat.