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Proposal for a New Product Liability (PLD) Directive

Full reference
Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on liability for defective products COM/2022/495 final
European Commission
Institutional level
EU level
Type of Source
EU legislation
Source EU detail
Secondary law
Stage of drafting
Territorial scope
Life cycle of the instrument
- First draft in September 2022
- The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted its opinion on 24 January 2023
- The Council adopted its common position in June 2023
- The co-legislators reached a provisional agreement on 14 December 2023
- IMCO-JURI committee approved the provisional agreement at its meeting on 22 February 2024. The text is foreseen to be voted by Parliament as a whole during the April 2024 plenary session
Project area
AI and consumer markets
Law area
Civili liability
Procedural law
Consumer protection
Product liability

Summary of the law

Legal basis:  Articles 114 of the Treaty on Functioning of the European Union

The European Commission introduced a modified version of the Product Liability Directive (PLD), refining the nearly four-decade-old original directive. This revised PLD updates the current strict product liability framework, also referred to as no-fault liability, wherein manufacturers can be held accountable for damages resulting from defective products regardless of fault.

Specific provision(s) regarding AI and consumer markets
Article 4(1): ‘product’ means all movables, even if integrated into another movable or into an immovable. ‘Product’ includes electricity, digital manufacturing files and software.

Article 6(1): A product shall be considered defective when it does not provide the safety which the public at large is entitled to expect, taking all circumstances into account, including the following:
c) the effect on the product of any ability to continue to learn after deployment
e) the moment in time when the product was placed on the market or put into service or, where the manufacturer retains control over the product after that moment, the moment in time when the product left the control of the manufacturer
Personal scope of the instrument
Economic operators and consumers
Material scope of the instrument

The Directive lays down common rules on the liability of economic operators for damage suffered by natural persons caused by defective products, without prejudice to the scope’s limitation enshrined in Article 2.

AI system(s) involved
  • All types of AI systems
  • European Commission
Fundamental rights involved
  • Right to an effective remedy
  • Right to health
  • Right to property
Principles expressly applied
  • Effective (judicial) protection
  • Reasonableness
Enforcement mechanisms under the EU primary law, civil liability, fines.

Case author
Ivo Emanuilov
LIBRe Foundation