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Making liability rules fit for the digital age, AI and circular economy

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the rules on compensation for damage caused by defective products. A specific focus will be on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in products and services.

Interested parties are invited to express their views on the revision of the Product Liability Directive and on whether other national liability rules still provide legal certainty and consumer protection in an age of smart and AI-based products and services. This is especially important since the safety of these products and services does not depend only on their design and production, but also on software updates, data flows and algorithms.

The public consultation covers questions such as which economic operator should be liable for harm, etc. Another important aspect is the upgrade and refurbishment of products and components, something that is becoming more and more important in our transition to a circular economy.

The current liability rules are based on two pillars: the Product Liability Directive and non-harmonised national liability rules. The Product Liability Directive protects consumers who suffer injury or property damage from defective products and covers products ranging from garden chairs to medicines, cars and AI-driven products. The non-harmonised national liability rules include various differing liability rules, which cover different types of damage and claims against any liable person.

The consultation is open for 12 weeks, until 10 January 2022.

For more information on liability rules, see:

or call:

  • Sonya Gospodinova, tel. +32 229 66953
  • Federica Miccoli, tel. +32 229 58300.