Short (skippable) intro: I was reading the question about software updates, started searching, and came across EU Directive 2019/771, in particular Article 7, Point 3.

  1. In the case of goods with digital elements, the seller shall ensure that the consumer is informed of and supplied with updates, including security updates, that are necessary to keep those goods in conformity, for the period of time:


that the consumer may reasonably expect given the type and purpose of the goods and the digital elements, and taking into account the circumstances and nature of the contract, where the sales contract provides for a single act of supply of the digital content or digital service; or


indicated in Article 10(2) or (5), as applicable, where the sales contract provides for a continuous supply of the digital content or digital service over a period of time.

That seems to place the odium of providing software updates on the retailer. Warranty requirements are also placed on the seller.

It seems that generally in EU consumer protection laws the responsibility always falls on the seller. Not on the importer or the manufacturer. Why is that? Is it just so that it's easier to enforce?

Manufacturers (especially for electronic goods) are often foreign entities, which may not have local representation, so it seems reasonable.

Importers? Is it because of the missing chain of custody? Because a given retailer may source the same item in multiple places?

Is there anything more to it?

  • Because the contract is between the vendor and the purchaser. Quite often, there is a local agent who acts for the manufacturer. Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


Because they are consumer protection laws

The purpose of the laws is to protect the consumer and the consumer’s relationship is with the retailer. Therefore the laws make the retailer responsible for dealing with the consumer’s problem.

The retailer profited from the deal so why shouldn’t they be held responsible for sourcing only from reputable manufacturers/importers?

  • 1
    To add to this, the first stage of enforcement is done by the consumers themselves, in complaining to retailers and asking them to put things right. The consumers wouldn't necessarily know how to contact retailers or importers.
    – bdsl
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 0:04

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