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Sub practice
Sub practice

Product Stewardship

The international trade in, and marketing of, products is subject to growing regulatory burdens.

Legislators around the world are increasingly taking a product-centred approach to environmental protection, imposing obligations on manufacturers, distributors, importers, users and disposers to reduce the environmental impacts of products, from the sourcing of raw materials to the management at their end-of life stage. Members of our Global Environmental and Regulatory Law Group are well-placed to advise on all aspects of this cycle.

Our product liability practice provides strategic advice and practical assistance to all operators in the supply chain, covering a wide range of products, including industrial equipment, automotives, medical devices, electronic equipment and other consumer goods.

We are involved at all stages of the production and marketing chain, from regulatory compliance at the strategic planning stage, to product labelling issues (including CE marking) and product liability risk assessments. We also assist clients with the regulatory impact of product misuse and product health and safety issues such as exposure to asbestos or other hazardous content.

We support clients on the practical impacts of regulatory enforcement action, including product investigations, recall, litigation, toxic torts and the associated reputational issues.

We have established global product teams dealing specifically with producer responsibility and product liability issues, who help our clients ensure compliance with all relevant legislation and managing product risks - enabling them to do business across the globe.

We also focus on trade and export controls enabling our clients to understand and comply with the complex challenges of operating within the ever expanding international trade sanctions.

Topics on which we routinely advise include:

  • product safety and recall
  • managing supply chains, sales channels, logistics and customer disputes
  • RoHS and WEEE directives, including the chemical content of products
  • China RoHS
  • Batteries Directive
  • U.S. and European sanctions, exemptions and approvals
  • dual-use product restrictions
  • medical devices
  • U.S. conflict minerals legislation
  • scoping and implementing due diligence on supply chains
  • drafting and negotiating product supply terms and associated compliance certifications and warranties
  • U.S. rules on e-waste and substance restrictions
  • EMC requirements
  • EuP Directive and implementing measures
  • waste shipment regulations
  • carriage of dangerous goods and substances
  • packaging requirements
  • developing compliance plans and strategies
  • carrying out product registrations and certifications
  • market surveillance initiatives
  • product liability

News & insights

Landscape view of electricity pylons

News: 03 FEBRUARY 2020

Top rankings for A&O’s Projects, Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure group

A&O’s global Projects, Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure group has finished top of the IJGlobal and Dealogic league tables, making 2019 another highly successful year. 

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Publications: 27 JANUARY 2020

Updated Equator Principles Finalized

Updated Equator Principles with stronger standards and a broader scope were finalized in November 2019 and are set to come into effect in July 2020. 

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Publications: 17 DECEMBER 2019

European Green Deal: roadmap to a climate neutral Europe

On 11 December 2019, the new European Commission announced its much-awaited European Green Deal (EGD)1, which sets out a wide range of major policy and legislative proposals to transition Europe to be ‘climate neutral’ by 2050. 

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Publications: 29 NOVEMBER 2019

Distorting mirrors: UK sanctions and Brexit

The UK’s various sanctions regimes are currently very strongly correlated, although not completely aligned, with those of the EU. This position arises, in part, from the direct applicability of certain EU laws within EU Member States (e.g. via EU regulations). Much of this EU law would cease to apply within the UK should the UK leave the EU without any new agreement being established to govern the future EU-UK relationship.

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Recognition