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Unilever and European Law Relations


The European Union (EU) has strict product liability regulations. The product liability laws entail regulations, which seek to protect the clientele from substandard products. In this act, the word ‘product’ denotes a tangible item. Therefore, the law does not cater for provision of services. The product liability legislation enacted in the EU has titled the odds in favour of the clients. The directive 85/374/EC redefined the word ‘product’ in the regulations. This new definition sought to cover all movables, and components of large items. Previously, this regulation did not cover primary agricultural goods. However, under the new definition producers of fruits, meat and vegetables can also face charges (Tulibacka 2009).

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Strict regulations

The EU has extreme regulations on product liability. Such regulations will impede the creativity of both the manufacturers and packaging entities. Being creative in designing a product will expose an entity to risks. If the innovations made harm the clientele, then the entity will face numerous charges. A suit against an entity under this act may pertain to production flaws, design defects or absence of appropriate warnings (directions). In instances of negligence, the client only requires to prove evidence of loss or damage. Under the amendments enacted, the entities involved in production and transportation may be jointly liable in a single suit owing to the extent of the loss. This reveals that the law seeks to eliminate all loopholes in the previous product liability legislation (Lenze 2005, pp. 109).

The packaging industry’s work entails designing, storage, sale and transportation of products. These activities are in contact with the current law since the law covers loss, which results from flaws in production or design. The law also covers loss emanating from poor wrapping, labelling and transportation. In view of the above details, an entity, which is in the packaging sector, will have to apply its creativity cautiously owing to the strict laws. If a company in this industry fails to label a product appropriately, then it may encounter legal charges. Each product requires certain labelling which direct the clients on its use. Failure to label a product appropriately will expose an entity to possible legal charges. Therefore, an entity’s ability to be innovative is limited by such legal requirements. In the pharmaceutical sector, pharmaceutical entities have to direct the customer appropriately on the use of the medication. Similarly, alcoholic and narcotic products require adequate warnings. These warnings seek to deter underage usage of such products. Such regulations reveal that the product liability act has limited the ability of companies in the packaging industry to exercise their innovation. Many entities in this industry have thin profit margins. Consequently, they are not willing to undertake activities, which may increase their costs significantly. Additionally, a ruling, which proves a packaging entity flouted product liability, would damage the entity’s corporate image (Tulibacka 2009).

Effects on transportation

In transportation, the packaging entities are incurring massive costs. The entities have to utilize the safest mode of transportation, which will ensure that the products are safe. If damage occurs during transportation, the packaging entity will bear liability for such losses. The inclusion of agricultural product makes the tasks of packaging entities tougher since some of the products perish rapidly (Lenze 2005, pp.112).


The duties of the packaging company create contact with the product liability statutes. In the EU, there are strict regulations, which seek to protect clients from defective tangible products. These laws have reduced innovation among the packaging entities since they fear suffering losses due to legal suits. Directives denote legislations under the EU. They require member states to achieve certain standards to ensure conformity across the member states. The product liability law safeguards customers against loses or injuries emanating from products purchased from entities.


Lenze, S. 2005, German Product Liability Law: between European Directives, American Restatements and Common Sense, Product Liability in Comparative Perspective. Vol. 2, pp. 100-125.

Tulibacka, M 2009, Product liability law in transition a Central European perspective. Oxford University. Web.

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