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United Arab Emirates

Although the United Arab Emirates, a civil law jurisdiction, has not yet enacted specific product liability legislation, product liability provisions are contained in other federal laws, in particular the Consumer Protection Law. The UAE has, in broad terms, adopted classifications of goods based on international standards.

The rights and procedures for filing claims are provided for in the Civil Code, Commercial Transactions Code and the Criminal Code. There is no provision for class actions within the jurisdiction, nor the award of punitive damages.

Litigation         

Claims by consumers for faulty products, or a breach of warranty, may be brought based on contractual or tort based principles, in line with the recently enacted Consumer Protection Law (the Law). The assessment of damages is likely to vary depending on which route is pursued. Tortious damages will be assessed by the court based on the actual damage suffered together with any consequential losses which were a direct result of the tortious act or omission. The parties are at liberty to agree in their contract what the assessment method will be. There is no scope for punitive damages, and time limitations do apply in relation to bringing claims.

Suppliers and commercial agents are obligated to provide repairs and spare parts for goods they sell, and any contractual clause waiving that obligation will be void. When goods are manufactured locally, the burden of such liability is to be shared jointly by the manufacturer and seller. When suppliers discover defects in goods or services, the Law obliges them to notify the Consumer Protection Department, relevant authorities and consumers. The Law provides that consumers have the right to recover for personal injuries and damages arising from these defects. It is not possible under the laws of the UAE to limit or exclude liability for personal injury or damage to property; any exclusion to this effect within a commercial contract may well be void as a matter of UAE law.

Penalties for failing to comply with the Law include financial penalties and, in some instances, criminal liability. 

Regulation     

The Law establishes a Higher Committee for Consumer Protection, chaired by the UAE Minister of Economy and including representatives from consumer protection associations. The Higher Committee for Consumer Protection is actively managed by the Ministry of Economy.

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United Arab Emirates

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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.