REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
ON PRODUCT SAFETY
1 June 1999 No VIII-1206
Article 1. Purpose and Intent of the Law
1. This Law shall establish general requirements for product safety, the principles of state and public control of product safety, the procedure for providing and communicating information about dangerous products, the duties and liability of producers, sellers and suppliers of services for placing dangerous products on the market of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter - the market) and damage caused by them to consumers.
Article 2. The Scope of the Law
1. This Law shall apply to legal and natural persons, enterprises without the status of a legal person who place on the market products intended for personal and household needs.
2. This Law shall not apply when placing on the market:
1) second-hand articles which are placed on the market as antiques, nor shall it apply to goods to be repaired or reconditioned prior to being used, provided that the supplier clearly informs the person to whom the good is supplied to that effect in writing;
Article 3. Definitions
1 Product - shall mean a manufactured good or service.
2. Placing of a product on the market - shall mean putting a product into circulation, its distribution, import, rent, sale or some other way of transfer.
3. Manufactured good - shall mean any movable property (thing) placed on the market and intended for the consumer.
4. Service - shall mean the result of activity by the supplier of a service when discharging a transaction between the supplier of a service and the client, including a centralised supply of drinking water, gas, heat and electricity.
5. Safe manufactured good - shall mean any product which, under normal conditions prescribed by the manufacturer or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use, including duration, does not present any risk or only the minimum risks compatible with the article’s use, considered as acceptable and consistent with a high level of protection for the safety and health of persons, taking into account the following points in particular:
1) the characteristics of the manufactured good, including its composition, packaging, instructions for assembly and maintenance;
2) the effect on other manufactured goods, where it is reasonably foreseeable that it will be used with other manufactured goods;
3) the presentation of the manufactured good, the labelling, any instructions for its use and disposal and any other indication or information provided by the producer;
6. Dangerous manufactured good - shall mean any manufactured good which does not meet the definition of “safe manufactured good” set forth in legal acts.
7. Safe service - shall mean any service provided in accordance with the specified conditions, which does not violate requirements for a safe service set forth in legal acts, and while providing it or after, does not present any risk or presents a risk not exceeding levels permitted by legal acts.
8. Dangerous service - shall mean any service which does not comply with the requirements for a safe service set forth in legal acts.
9. Producer - shall mean a person established in the Republic of Lithuania in the manner prescribed by legal acts :
1) who has manufactured the good and has announced that by affixing to the good his name, trade mark or other distinctive mark;
2) who acts as the manufacturer’s representative and places the manufactured good on the market at the manufacturer’s request and affixes to the good his name, or, if there is no representative - imports the manufactured good;
3) who stores and/or packages manufactured goods and indicates himself as the producer of manufactured goods;
10. Supplier of service - shall mean a person established in the Republic of Lithuania in the manner prescribed by legal acts who provides services.
11. Seller - shall mean a person established in the Republic of Lithuania in the manner prescribed by legal acts who sells manufactured goods.
12. Consumer - shall mean a person who buys manufactured goods and makes use of services for personal or household needs.
13. Product safety monitoring - shall mean state and public product safety control of whether the product placed on the market is safe.
Article 4. General Principles of Product Safety
1. A product about to be placed on the market must be safe. The possibility to ensure higher levels of safety or obtain other products the use of which involves less risk then prescribed must not be a reason for placing the product in the category of dangerous products if it complies with the product safety requirements set forth in legal acts.
Article 5. Competence of the Government, Government Institutions,
Ministries, Departments under the Ministries and Other Bodies
in Regulating Product Safety
The Government, its institutions, ministries, departments under them and other bodies, within their respective spheres of state administration, shall set forth, within the limits of their competence, mandatory product safety and marking requirements aligned with the requirements of the United Nations, the European Union, and the World Trade Organisation and subject to the approval of their conformity with the prescribed requirements.
Article 6. Co-ordination of Implementation of Legal Acts Regulating
1. Implementation of this Law and other legal acts regulating product safety shall be co-ordinated by the National Board for the Protection of Consumer Rights ( hereinafter - the Board).
Article 7. Notification of the European Commission and Foreign States about
1. If the Board or state product safety monitoring authorities (hereinafter - “monitoring authorities”) decide to apply measures which restrict the placing on the market of products supplied from Member States of the European Union or states with which appropriate international agreements have been concluded, they must notify, without delay, the European Commission or the authorities of the states with which international agreements where such notification is required have been concluded, specifying their reasons for applying them.
Article 8. Producer’s Obligation to Ensure Product Safety
The producer shall be obliged:
2) to mark manufactured goods and provide consumers with the relevant information about the risks inherent in a manufactured good throughout the indicated, normal or reasonably foreseeable period of its use;
3) upon discovering that a manufactured good is dangerous, inform, without delay, the consumers, the Board, and appropriate monitoring authorities, and withdraw the good from the market in the manner prescribed by the Government;
Article 9. Seller’s Obligation to Ensure Product Safety
The seller shall be obliged;
2) to provide consumers with relevant information about the risks inherent in a manufactured good throughout the indicated, normal or reasonably foreseeable period of its use;
3) upon discovering that a manufactured good is dangerous, to inform, without delay, the consumers, the Board and an appropriate monitoring authority, and withdraw the good from the market in the manner prescribed by the Government;
Article 10. Obligation of the Service Supplier to Ensure Product Safety
1. The service supplier shall be obliged :
2) to provide consumers with relevant information about the risks inherent in the service throughout the indicated, normal or reasonably foreseeable period of its use;
3) upon discovering that a service may involve risks for the consumer, to terminate, without delay, provision of the service and inform the consumer, the Board and an appropriate monitoring authority;
Article 11. Rights of Public Consumer Protection Organisations
Public consumer protection organisations shall have the following rights:
1) to obtain information pertaining to product safety from producers, sellers and suppliers of services;
2) to conduct consumer opinion polls about product safety and publish summaries of the information in mass media;
3) at the request of the consumer or at their own initiative, to bring an action against legal and natural persons, enterprises without the status of a legal person who have violated consumer rights and lawful interests;
5) to provide to the Board and monitoring authorities information about violations of legal acts on product safety and make proposals about promotion of consumer protection;
Article 12. Monitoring of Compliance with Product Safety Requirements
Compliance with the requirements set forth in this Law and other legal acts which ensure that only safe products are placed on the market shall be controlled by uniform monitoring authorities for food and non-food product safety established by the Government in the manner prescribed by laws and other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania.
Article 13. Subject Matter of the State Product Safety Monitoring
1. Direct product safety monitoring shall include:
2) product safety checks conducted on the basis of reports of consumers, their organisations and other interested bodies and institutions;
2. Indirect monitoring of product safety shall be comprised of gathering, storing, processing and analysis of statistical data about the manufacturing, import and sales of dangerous products, and information about any factors resulting in the increase or decrease of risks involved in the consumption.
Article 14. Rights and Obligations of Monitoring Authorities
1. In exercising state product safety monitoring, the monitoring authorities shall have the right:
1) to check the compliance with legal acts regulating product safety, and collect information pertaining to product safety;
2) to obtain information and documentation necessary for investigation of violations of this Law and other legislation from national and local executive bodies, legal and natural persons, and enterprises without the status of a legal person;
3) to obtain, in the manner prescribed by the Government or an institution authorised by it, from producers, sellers and suppliers of services information, documentation, and product samples necessary for investigation of violations of this Law and other legislation;
4) to require that managers of manufacturing, sales and service supply companies, or persons authorised by them, appear in person and provide oral or written explanation;
5) to recommend to the authority to cancel the licence to engage in commercial- economic activities issued to those persons whose products placed on the market caused damage to consumers;
6) upon establishing violations of the requirements of legal acts on product safety, to notify the producer, seller and supplier of service and obligate them to rectify the violations without delay;
2.Monitoring authorities shall be obliged:
1) to provide law enforcement institutions with all information pertaining to infringement of legal acts on product safety if these products could cause or have caused health impairment or death;
Article 15. Information not Constituting a Trade Secret
1. Information with regard to a product not constituting a trade secret shall be as follows:
Article 16. Basis for Restrictions on the Placing of a Product on the Market
Restrictions on the placing of a product on the market (hereinafter - restriction on the marketing) may be applied provided the products have been placed on the market in violation of the requirements of subparagraphs 1, 2, 3 of Article 8, subparagraphs 1, 2, 3 of Article 9, and subparagraphs 1, 2, 3 of Article 10 of this Law.
Article 17. Restrictions on Marketing
1. When there are grounds for restrictions on the marketing in pursuance of Article 16 of this Law, the Board or the monitoring authorities shall have the right to apply, in the manner prescribed by the Government, the following restrictions on the marketing:
1) to cancel or ban any placing of products on the market, to obligate the producer, seller, and supplier of a service to eliminate harmful properties of the product or to destroy the dangerous product in a safe way;
2) to demand the withdrawal of the dangerous product from the market, and where the producer, seller or supplier of a service do not proceed to do that in a timely manner, or where it is impossible to identify promptly the producer, seller or supplier of a service, the monitoring authorities themselves shall withdraw the dangerous product from the market;
2. If a monitoring authority itself withdraws a dangerous product from the market, by the decision of the Board, the expenses incurred shall be recovered from the producer, seller, and supplier of a service.
3. Decisions of the Board or resolutions of the monitoring authorities with regard to the beginning or end of restrictions on the marketing must be published in the information appendix of the “Valstybės žinios” (the “Official Gazette”).
Article 18. State Expert Examination of Product Safety
1. State expert examination of product safety shall be undertaken:
2.The procedure for carrying out state expert examination of product safety and its principles shall be established by the Government or an institution designated by it.
Article 19. Conclusions of State Expert Examination of Product Safety
If during state expert examination of product safety it is established that product samples or services are dangerous the whole batch from which samples for expert examination have been taken or all the services provided by the service supplier from the moment of establishing shall be deemed dangerous.
Article 20. Liability for Violations of the Law
1. Producers, suppliers of services in breach of the requirements of this Law shall be held liable in the manner stipulated by this Law and other legislation.
2. The importer in breach of the requirements of this Law shall be held liable in the same way as the producer.
Article 21. Compensation for Material Damage
1. Damage caused to the consumer by a dangerous product shall be compensated in the manner prescribed by law.
Article 22. Persons Subject to Economic Sanctions for Violations of the Law
Economic sanctions for violations of this Law shall be imposed on the producer or seller of the product, or the supplier of a service.
Article 23. Economic Sanctions for Violations of the Law
1. The producer or seller who place dangerous products on the market may be warned or may be punishable by a fine from 500 to 5,000 Litas.
2.The producer or seller who place dangerous products on the market following the order to suspend their sale may be punishable by a fine from 3,000 to 15,000 Litas.
3. The supplier of a service who has provided or is providing dangerous services may be warned or may be punishable by a fine from 500 to 2,500 Litas.
4. The supplier of a service who provided or keeps providing dangerous services following the order to suspend providing them may be punishable by a fine from 2,000 to 10,000 Litas.
5. If the person referred to in Article 22 of this Law fails to comply with the requirements of the Board or the monitoring authorities to withdraw dangerous products from the market or to destroy them may be punishable by a fine from 5,000 to 20,000 Litas.
6. If the person referred to in Article 22 of this Law placed dangerous products on the market which have caused a health impairment to the consumer he may be punishable by a fine from 5,000 to 40,000 Litas.
7. If the person referred to in Article 22 of this Law placed dangerous products on the market which caused the consumer’s death he may be punishable by a fine from 20,000 to 80,000 Litas.
Article 24. Mitigating and Aggravating Circumstances
1 The producer and seller of a dangerous product, or the supplier of a service shall not be held liable for the placing of a dangerous product on the market if they prove that:
2) the product became dangerous as a result of actions of a third person during an improper (unsafe) transportation or keeping (storage) or because of any other reasons;
3) at the time when the dangerous product was placed on the market, the level of science and technology was not adequate for establishing a potential risk;
4) the consumer used the product in breach of the instructions, precautions and safety measures, which resulted in the damage;
2. In deciding upon the amount of an economic sanction the Board shall take into account the mitigating and aggravating circumstances.
3. When imposing a fine, the fact that persons who have committed a violation rectified it and compensated the damage caused to consumers in good faith, as well as other relevant circumstances shall be regarded as mitigating circumstances.
4. When imposing a fine, the fact that a person repeatedly committed the same type of violation within one year after a previous violation, and persisted in committing it without regard to the order of the Board or the monitoring authority to discontinue unlawful actions, and has failed to compensate for the damage or avoided to compensate for it, shall be regarded as aggravating circumstances.
Article 25. Time-period for Imposing Economic Sanctions
The economic sanctions referred to in Article 23 of this Law may be imposed within three months from establishing a violation of the Law; and in the event of a continuing violation - from the day of ascertaining it. This provision shall not apply when a dangerous product impairs the consumer’s health or causes his death.
Article 26. Administrative Liability
Violations of the Law on Product Liability shall carry administrative liability in the manner prescribed by law.
Article 27. Investigation of Violations of the Law and Procedure of Imposing
1. Economic sanctions referred to in this Law shall be imposed and cases shall be investigated by the Board. Preparation and investigation of the cases and the procedure of imposing economic sanctions shall be laid down by this Law and regulations of the Board approved by the Government.
2. The staff of the monitoring authorities shall draw up a statement reporting a violation of this Law and together with the relevant evidence shall submit it within three work days to the Board.
3. A representative of the monitoring authority which submitted the relevant material shall be present during the hearing of the case; the person in breach or his representative must be duly informed and may also attend the hearing. The person in breach of the Law or his representative has the right to familiarise himself with the materials of the case, give explanations, make motions, give evidence, and appeal against the adopted decisions. Failure of the person in breach or his representative when he was informed in a timely manner about the venue and time of the hearing to appear during the hearing of the case shall not prevent the hearing from taking place.
4. After investigation of the case the Board shall adopt an appropriate decision. The decision shall state the name of the institution which adopted the decision, the date and venue of the investigation, information about the person in breach of the Law, the circumstances of the violation, the evidence on which the decision is based, the article of the Law on Product Safety which provides for liability for violation of the Law, the adopted decision, the time-limit for appealing against it and its procedure.
Article 28. Appeal Against Resolutions of the Monitoring Authorities and
Decisions of the Board
1. Within 20 days from adoption of a resolution or a decision, the producer, seller and supplier of services may file an appeal with a court against the decisions of the Board or resolutions of the monitoring authorities relating to the restrictions on the marketing and the decisions of the Board on imposing economic sanctions in the manner set forth by the Law on Administrative Proceedings.
Article 29. Recovery of Fines
1. The imposed fines referred to in Article 23 of this Law shall be paid into the State Budget within one month after the day of service on the person in breach of the Law of the decision to impose a fine upon him.
Article 30. Entry into Force
This Law, with the exception of Article 31, shall enter into force from January 1, 2000.
Article 31. Recommendation to the Government
The Government of the Republic of Lithuania:
1) prior to 1 October 1999, shall prepare drafts for the amendment of laws related to this particular Law;