Convention of 2 October 1973 on the Law Applicable to Products Liability

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: The Hague, The Netherlands
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 01/10/1977

Category

Contracts

Sub category

Conflict of laws

Groups

HCCH

What is it about?

This Convention determines the law applicable to the liability of manufacturers and other persons for damage caused by a product, including damage in consequence of a false product description or of a failure to give adequate notice of its qualities, its characteristics or its method of use. Under the Convention the law applicable shall be the internal law of the State of the place of injury, if that State is also: a) the place of the habitual residence of the person directly suffering damage, or b) the principal place of business of the person claimed to be liable, or c) the place where the product was acquired by the person directly suffering damage. The applicable law may also be the internal law of the State of the habitual residence of the person directly suffering damage, if that State is: a) the principal place of business of the person claimed to be liable, or b) the place where the product was acquired by the person directly suffering damage. Finally, where neither of the above guidelines applies, the applicable law shall be the internal law of the State of the principal place of business of the person claimed to be liable, unless the claimant bases his claim upon the internal law of the State of the place of injury.

Why is it relevant?

The codification of rules applicable related to product liability allows for a predictable determination of the applicable law and responsibility. It also leads to predictability in matters of exoneration, compensation and the burden of proof to those suspected of being liable.

Additional Information

The application of a law declared applicable under this Convention may be refused only where such application would be manifestly incompatible with public policy ("ordre public"). This Convention shall not prevail over other Conventions in special fields to which the Contracting States are or may become Parties and which contain provisions concerning products liability.

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