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As the volume of international business transactions continues to grow dramatically, and as trade relations develop between an ever-increasing number of countries, it is inevitable that many questions of comparative business risk and liability should arise. What common elements underlie the various methods of limiting product liability applied in different national jurisdictions? How do different legal regimes protect the legitimate rights of consumers? These were the fundamental questions addressed by a seminar on warranties and disclaimers held within the framework of the 2000 Annual Conference of the International Bar Association in Amsterdam.
The seminar - jointly sponsored by IBA Committees S (Products, Liability, Advertising, Unfair Competition and Consumer Affairs), M (International Sales and Related Commercial Transactions) and CC (Corporate Counsel) - consisted of four introductory summaries and 33 country reports by local practitioners. The presentations focused on many important issues, including the following: legal and contractual warranties in contracts for the supply of goods or services between manufacturers, distributors and end-users; methods of communicating disclaimers and limitations of liability; strategies for securing limitations of liability downstream; and variations in the legal effectiveness of disclaimers and limitations.