DLA Piper Hungary's consumer products practice covers an array of liability and consumer protection matters, across the full range of regulatory compliance and enforcement issues, IP protection and labelling matters, including both litigation and commercial advice. We regularly represent clients in consumer protection related proceedings before the Hungarian Consumer Protection Authority and Competition Authority. Our consumer product practice has deep experience advising various sectors, including retail, automotive, food and pharmaceutical. We acted as a country expert for Hungary in European-wide comparative law studies for the European commission on the implementation of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive in Hungary, and the implementation of the EU consumer protection Directives in Hungary.
Council Directive 85/374/EEC concerning liability for defective products has been fully implemented into Hungarian law through the Hungarian Civil Code (Act 5 of 2013).
The Civil Code governs producers’ and importers’ objective liability for damage caused by defective products. Such damage may consist of death, bodily harm or damage to a person’s health, or damage exceeding €500 to another object designed for private use and consumption and used for that purpose. The Civil Code provides that the claimant needs to prove the defect, the damage caused and causation; otherwise, the burden of proof is on the producer/importer. If the producer or importer is impossible to identify, then the seller will be regarded as the producer until the identity of the producer or importer can be established.
The injured party may choose to claim damages on the basis of the product liability provisions, or of the general warranty rules and the rules on compensation for damages of the Civil Code. Civil claims are usually based on the general warranty and compensation rules, rather than the product liability provisions of the Hungarian Civil Code.
Government Decree 6 of 2013 on the Detailed Rules of Market Control Procedure (the Product Safety Decree) implemented the provisions of EC Directive 2001/95/EC on General Product Safety. Various, product-specific market control authorities ensure compliance with the product safety provisions under the Product Safety Decree. When product safety rules are breached, the market control authorities are entitled to ban or restrict the release of a product, withdraw it from the market or recall it. These market control authorities make available to the public information regarding products found to be dangerous to health or safety.