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Welcome to our Product & Consumer Protection Annual Review 2020.

2020 has seen continued growth in the consumer products industry, with a concerted effort by legislators and regulators alike to maintain and expand oversight. We review key developments in 2020 and look ahead to future reform.

In particular, the EU product and consumer protection law landscape continues to evolve in what is now a highly regulated sector. Significantly, the European Commission, in its 2020 working programme, announced that it would revise the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD), by either amending the existing directive or adopting a new regulation in the second quarter of 2021. This review forms part of the Commission’s regulatory, fitness and performance programme (REFIT).

With regard to Brexit, we examine some of the key issues faced by product manufacturers with the end of the transition period having now passed on 1 January 2021.

Undaunted by the COVID-19 crisis, the EU progressed its reform of the EU Digital Single Market. A key pillar of this initiative concerns changes to the current consumer law regime. These new rules will come into effect on a staggered basis over the next 18 months or so and will have a significant impact on how digital health companies engage with EU consumers.

We will also deep dive into key issues such as:

  • The New Consumer Agenda

  • The Digital Content Directive

  • Civil liability for A.I. and what this means for products

  • Collective Redress, and

  • New Measures Under the Ecodesign Directive

It is important that those in the product and consumer sectors familiarise themselves with the upcoming and recent legislation to ensure compliance.

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