Sales Service/Customer Support

An Expert's View about Business Culture in Belgium

Last updated: 11 Apr 2011

Conscious of the discrepancies among EU member states in product labeling, language use, legal guarantee, and liability, the redress of which inevitably frustrates consumers in cross-border shopping, EU institutions have launched a number of initiatives aimed at harmonizing national legislation. Suppliers outside of Belgium should be aware of the existing and upcoming legislation that affects sales, service, and customer support.

Product Liability
Under the 1985 directive on liability of defective products, amended in 1999, the producer is liable for damage caused by a defect in his product. The victim must prove the existence of the defect and a causal link between the defect and the injury (bodily as well as material). A reduction of the liability of the manufacturer is granted in cases of negligence on the part of the victim.

Product Safety
The 1992 General Product Safety Directive introduced a general safety requirement at the EU level to ensure that manufacturers only place safe products on the market. It includes the obligation for the producer and distributor to notify the European Commission in the event of a problem with a given product, provisions for its recall, the creation of a European Product Safety Network, and a ban on exports of products to third countries deemed unsafe by the EU.
Legal Warranties and After?sales Service

Under the 1999 directive on the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees, professional sellers are required to provide a minimum two-year warranty on all goods sold to consumers (natural persons acting for purposes outside their trade, business or profession), as defined by the directive. The remedies available to consumers in case of non-compliance are: repair of the good(s), replacement of the good(s), a price reduction, or rescission of the sales contract.

Legal Warranties and After?sales Service
Under the 1999 directive on the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees, professional sellers are required to provide a minimum two-year warranty on all goods sold to consumers (natural persons acting for purposes outside their trade, business or profession), as defined by the directive. The remedies available to consumers in case of non-compliance are: repair of the good(s), replacement of the good(s), a price reduction, or rescission of the sales contract.

Read the complete guide to Doing Business in Belgium


Posted: 10 April 2011, last updated 11 April 2011