09 Dec 2022 Eurosmart’s feedback – Product liability directive
Product Liability Directive – Adapting liability rules to the digital age, circular economy and global value chains
The Product Liability Directive has proven its value during the past three decades to ensure the victims’ right to compensation, even without fault on the part of the producer (strict liability). This directive oversees significant aspects of the European Single Market; it complements the safety requirements for placing a product on the Market with the right to compensation in case a product is still defective, i.e. it does not provide the safety that a person is entitled to expect. Today, this approach is challenged by the emergence of new technologies and security-related concerns.
The new proposal includes elements regarding software liability. Software solutions could be considered as building blocks of digital products. Moreover, software could be standalone elements placed on the Market. Eurosmart welcomes the proposal providing clear definitions for Digital products that could be tangible or intangible. To complement the future horizontal rules for placing products with digital elements on the Market, the updated product liability approach shall be an incentive to make (digital) product’s value-chains more resilient. The proposal for a directive includes additional provisions extending the scope of the 1985 Product Liability Directive. These provisions address the complex and continuously evolving ecosystem of digital products. However, depending on their national implementation, these new elements could also end up fuelling legal uncertainty.Eurosmart_Product_liability_FINAL