Debates around the final implications of the EU package on product safety and market surveillance released by the European Commission last 13 February 2013 will soon come to an end. The proposed regulations were adopted by the European Parliament on 15 April 2014 before discussion with the Council of the EU; they will replace the current EU General Product Safety Directive adopted in 2001.
The inconsistent implementation of the 2001 directive created legal uncertainty for manufacturers, importers or retailers. How could they know exactly where their liabilities lie when they faced a patchwork of 28 different product liability regimes? They struggled, for example, to find the place to connect with the damage: is it where the product was made, sold, or distributed?
The new regulations on product safety and market surveillance are expected to enter into force in 2015 and are supposed to remove weak spots created by “softer” market surveillance in some parts of the EU than others, leading to unfair market conditions.
They should create a coherent approach to product safety and market surveillance leading to lower compliance costs for economic operators. The thing that remains unclear is the impact on insurance pricing of the new regulations in terms
of the number of future claims and the coverage of insured companies against the cost of a corrective action and the liability for product defects.
See more on the European Commission website: https://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/justice-and-consumers_en