Dangerous Products and Consumer Rights

Did you suffer damage from a dangerous product?  Find out your rights here!

Consumer protection is one of the main goals of the European Union. The consumer is not only protected from the financial consequences of his purchases but also from the physical harm he may suffer when using a product.

For this reason there is a requirement that a producer, distributor or importer of products sold in a Member State of the European Union ensures that they are safe for general consumption.

According to the Law on General Product Safety of 2004, a producer must place in the market safe products – that is, products that do not pose any risks or pose only minimal risks and which are considered acceptable in the context of a high degree of protection of the health and safety of consumers.

Producers, where the risks are not immediately apparent without a proper warning, must provide consumers with the necessary information to enable them to assess the risks posed by a product during its normal or reasonably foreseeable use, and to be protected from such risks. In addition, producers must take appropriate measures, depending on the characteristics of the products they supply, which allow them to:[1]

(a) be aware of the potential risks of these products; and

(b) choose to take appropriate measures including, if necessary in order to prevent such risks, the withdrawal of the products in question from the market, the adequate and effective warning to consumers or the recall of the products from the reach of consumers.

In the event that any actions taken are not sufficient to prevent potential risks, producers may, if necessary, recall a product. A product recall is a measure of last resort[2]  aimed at returning a dangerous product that has already been supplied to consumers.[3]

Breach of the general security obligation set our above is a civil offense[4] against any person who may suffer physical damage or death.[5] Such liability may not be limited by contract or otherwise. [6]

A person who violates the above obligations also commits an offense and is subject to imprisonment or a fine.[7]

An additional Law which protects consumers from dangerous products is the Defective Products (Civil Liability) Law of 1995. According to this Law, anyone who suffers damage due to a defective product is entitled to compensation. Damage covered is death, personal injury or any loss of property or damage to it (including immovable property) when the property is intended and used for private use or consumption. Any damage to the product itself is not covered.

The persons who may be liable for such damage are the producer, the importer as well as any supplier of the product (e.g. a seller).

Where the consumer’s relationship is with the seller of the product that caused the injury, the consumer is, in addition to any other remedy provided to him, to request the assistance of an Alternative Dispute Resolution Entity in order to resolve his/her dispute with the seller. Such an Entity is the Cyprus Consumer Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution.

This article does not constitute legal advice.

[1] L.41(I)/2004, article 7(2)

[2] L.41(I)/2004, article 7(5)

[3] L.41(I)/2004, article 2

[4] L.41(I)/2004, article 41(1)

[5] L.41(I)/2004, article 41(4)

[6] L.41(I)/2004, article 41(3)

[7] L.41(I)/2004, article 29

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