Global Product Liability


In Burundi, responsibility for products is still scattered in different texts and is hampered by the absence of specific legislation that regulates it. In the absence of definitive legislation, product liability can be established by using common law, either on the basis of tort liability (Articles 258 and 259 of the Civil Code Book III) or on the basis of contractual liability, particularly in the sales contract, if the seller delivers products with hidden defects (Article 318 of the Civil Code Book III and Articles 279 and 312 of the Code of Commerce). Civil liability can also be established if the victim is a civil party incident to the criminal liability initiated by the Public Prosecutor's Office, among other things:

  • in the case of harm resulting from chemicals imported, exported, marketed or stored without complying with the law and these products have seriously harmed the safety of persons or caused substantial environmental degradation (Article 121 of Law 1/06 of 21 March 2021 under chemical management code); or
  • in the case of production, facilitation, delivery or sale of a product or drug for counterfeit or unauthorized human use (Article 208 of Law 1/11 of May 8, 2020 regulating the practice of pharmacy and medicine for human use).

The Courts and Civil Courts of Burundi may be seized directly by the victim of the damage caused by a product on the basis of tort or contractual liability. They may also be seized by the Public Prosecutor's Office where the damage caused is the result of the commission of an offence. In this case, the victim takes civil action before the criminal judge to obtain civil compensation. Since court decisions are not always published, it is not easy to have access to Burundian jurisprudence on product liability.

Key contacts

Chrisostome Nsabimana
Chrisostome Nsabimana
Senior Associate [email protected]T +25722248910