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Russia

Russian legislation in the field of product liability is customer-focused and is strict with regard to manufacturers, sellers and retailers. The main pieces of legislation are the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, the federal Law on Customers’ Rights Protection and the federal Law on Technical Regulation. Additional laws also contain product liability provisions (for example, the federal Law on Shared Construction). Product liability may arise from contract, tort or breach of statutory duties.

Litigation        

Personal injury and damage to property arising from product defects must be compensated in full. The injured person or legal entity is entitled to damages whether or not he has entered into a contract with the manufacturer/seller. This means that claims may be initiated not only by the buyers of a product, but also by third parties. Liability for damage cannot be limited by a contract. A contract between a manufacturer/seller and a buyer may provide for penalty fees if the contract is violated, but regardless of the payment of such penalty fees, a consumer must still be compensated for any damage suffered.

The claimant can choose to claim damages from either the manufacturer or the seller.

The claimant is entitled to claim damages for distress or mental anguish as well as damages for material loss.

The manufacturer/seller is not liable for damage suffered as a result of force majeure or if the customer failed to comply with the usage requirements for the products. 

Regulation       

The main governmental bodies responsible for the control of product quality and safety are the Technical Regulation and Metrology Federal Service (Ростехрегулирование - Федеральное агенство по техническому регулированию и метрологии) and the Federal Consumer Protection and Human Welfare Agency (Роспотребнадзор - Федеральная служба по надзору в сфере защиты прав потребителей и благополучия человека). Control functions are also carried out by other federal authorities according to their areas of responsibility. Russia’s Federal Service on Surveillance in Health Care and Social Development (Росздравнадзор - Федеральная служба по надзору в сфере здравоохранения и социального развития) is one such authority. All information and documents that these authorities may request of manufacturers, sellers and importers regarding a product’s quality and safety must be provided.

If a product violates mandatory standards and technical regulations, rendering it a potential risk to consumers, then the proper authorities must be notified. The manufacturer must then develop and implement a plan of action to prevent or limit potential damage. If mandatory standards and technical regulations are found to have been violated, the authorities may recall the product from the market, at the manufacturer’s expense.

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Note past results are not guarantees of future results. Each matter is individual and will be decided on its own facts.