Computer & Communication Industry Association
PublishedDecember 14, 2023

Revision of EU Product Liability Rules Leads to Significant Negative Consequences for Innovation

Brussels, BELGIUM – The European Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the revision of the EU Directive on the liability for defective products today.

While recognising the hard work of the co-legislators on the revision of the Product Liability Directive (PLD), the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) warns of the negative impact these rules could have on innovation across Europe.

Since the European Commission presented its proposal over a year ago, some slight improvements have been made. Better alignment of the PLD with the Digital Services Act’s approach to online marketplaces’ liability is a positive step.

Nevertheless, the revised PLD is a missed opportunity to ensure that this framework, which has supported Europe’s single market and competitiveness for over thirty years, continues to do so in the future. For example, the inclusion of all software – including artificial intelligence – in the scope without sufficient safeguards or clarity, will have deterring effects on European innovation.

This is particularly the case as the alleviation of the burden of proof and the easing of the disclosure of evidence could lead to companies facing more litigation, abusive discovery of evidence, and overall higher insurance costs. The changes to the European civil justice system’s principles and cornerstones introduced by today’s PLD deal set a dangerous precedent.

Members of the European Parliament and Member States will now have to approve the provisional agreement for the revision of the PLD to become law. 

The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe’s Senior Policy Manager, Mathilde Adjutor:

“The deal on the revised PLD fixes some misguided ideas from the original proposal. It still remains to be seen what impact on innovation this revision will have in the short and long term.”

“While insurance costs are likely to rise imminently for software, more tangible negative consequences for European consumers including higher product prices and more limited choice are likely to outweigh the benefits of this revision in the medium term.”

“Today’s deal on the revision of the PLD leaves a bitter aftertaste: while the worst possible outcome was avoided, the technology and digital sectors still anticipate a myriad of negative consequences for innovation in Europe.”

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