Liability for defective products
The advantages of the Single market in facilitating the availability in all member States of a wide range of products from all corners of the Union must be achieved within a framework which assures citizens of the safety of those products and the possibility to claim compensation in case of damages caused by defective products. Since 1985, the EU Internal Market counts on a framework of product liability set up to satisfy both concerns.
Directive 1985/374/EEC and Directive 1999/34/EC [42 KB] apply to any product marketed in the European Economic area and is of direct concern for both citizens and producers in that area. By striking a fair balance of risk among citizens and producers, this legislation aims to converge consumers' interests with Single Market policies (namely free exchange of goods and elimination of competition distortions).
The Commission monitors that rules of product liability are effectively enforced in Member States, for the benefit of both citizens and producers. On a regular basis, the Commission must review the efficiency of the product liability framework.