- Elgar European Law series
Chapter 6: Product liability
Directive 85/374 (as amended) harmonises laws concerning liability for defective products. It is commonly referred to as the ‘Product Liability Directive’. Strictly, it is a measure adopted in order to advance the integration of the market. Its Treaty base is Article 100 (which is now Article 115: see Chapter 3). Harmonisation of national provisions concerning the liability of the producer for damage caused by defectiveness of products is required in the light of the distortions in competition in the EU and the impact on the movement of goods which are caused by divergences between the laws of the different Member States. However, the harmonisation of laws governing liability for defective products has a profound impact on the position of the consumer. Accordingly Directive 85/374 is a major measure of EU consumer protection policy, albeit, in strict constitutional terms, as an incidental consequence of its principal objective.
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