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Directive 85/374/EEC, which was transposed into UK law in Part 1 of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (CPA), imposes strict liability on producers for harm caused by defective products.
This means that people who are injured by defective products can sue for compensation without having to prove the producer negligent, provided that they can prove that the product was defective and the defect in the product caused the injury.
The Directive applies to consumer products and products used at a place of work.
An amendment (Directive 1999/34EC) was adopted in 1999 extending product liability for defective products to include primary agricultural products and games with effect from 4 December 2000, which was matched by a corresponding amendment to the CPA. This means that all products are now covered.
The Department has a Quick Facts pages on Product Liability, and our Guide to the Consumer Protection Act 1987 includes a summary of the original product liability provisions.