Product Responsibility

Obligations about Quality

In the case of consumer contracts, certain mandatory obligations of conformity with the description, quality, fitness for purpose et cetera are applicable under EU legislation. The consumer has a right to repair or replacement on the same terms as now apply under UK law derived from European Union They cannot be excluded in any EU jurisdiction.

The position in business to business contracts in Ireland is broadly similar to that in the United Kingdom. It is possible to exclude most of the implied conditions provided that the exclusion is fair and reasonable.

As in the UK, the immediate seller will have given implied warranties of fitness, quality and suitability of the goods themselves. If there is a breach, then the supplier will usually have recourse to a distributor or manufacturer from whom it purchased, subject to whatever the relevant contract provides.

Liability for Defective Products

The position is similar to that in the case of product sales from the UK to the EU at present. The rules on advertisements and commercial communications are principally based on EU regulations and accordingly identical to, or in other cases, similar to those now applicable in the United Kingdom.

The defective products legislation and the general standards regulation in Ireland is the same as that generally applicable in the EU. It is, therefore, the same as that applicable pre-Brexit in the United Kingdom.

Where the goods pose a danger of personal injury the manufacturer, distributor or the importer into the EU is subject to potential liability in the same way as applies under UK (England and Wales and Northern Ireland) law at present.

It is desirable to have product liability insurance although it is not mandatory. There is no reason in principle why insurance underwritten in the UK could not cover sales into the EU from an Irish base. It would be necessary to clarify and confirm with the insurer or broker that it covers liabilities arising outside the UK.