New Dutch Law Requires Manufacturers to Provide Necessary Updates to their Products

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The Dutch House of Representatives voted for a new law that requires sellers of devices, software, and services to continue to provide updates for as long as ‘reasonably expected.’ The new rules are based on the European directives ‘Sales goods’ and ‘Delivery of digital content.’ In short, the new Dutch law requires manufacturers to provide necessary updates to their products. The new law entitles consumers to software and security updates when purchasing smart devices such as smart TVs, smartwatches, printers, cameras, and smartphones. Furthermore, this new law also applies to games and other software and (streaming) services.

The new law does not specify for how long consumers can expect updates. This depends on the device. Consumers can expect a higher price correlated with longer updates. For example, when purchasing a digital game on a mobile phone.

Edwin van Houten, Director of ACM’s Consumer Department, adds: “Consumers have the right to products that come without any faults: that is a basic rule within consumer law. We call this right the legal guarantee. This right applies to all products and, soon, also explicitly to digital products and services. Therefore, we are making this announcement to emphasize that businesses should start making the necessary preparations.”

What to do for manufacturers?

Manufacturers will have to ensure that consumers can use their purchases properly and safely during the average lifespans of their products. That is why they are required to provide updates. The new law does not oblige manufacturers to provide upgrades for a new operating system, as long as the upgrade was not agreed upon. Manufacturers only have to provide updates necessary to ensure that the delivered products comply with the law.

Moreover, if a consumer does not install those updates within ‘a reasonable period’, the manufacturer is also not responsible for the operation of a product. The manufacturer is not responsible for a product becoming defective because of a lack of installed updates. However, the manufacturer must inform the consumer about the update with clear instructions. 

Important product content to share?

As an example, below an overview of specifications that BCC, a leading Dutch electronics retailer, will show on their product pages:

  • Introduction year
  • Introduction month
  • Software update guarantee term (e.g. number of months from launch date)
  • Security update guarantee term (e.g. number of months from launch date)

The legislation has already come into place in April 2022, so BCC is committed to sharing this information via their portals as soon as possible. BCC’s account managers will also contact their suppliers about this.

Where does Icecat fit in?

Icecat works closely with both manufacturers and channels to optimize the product data exchange throughout the supply chain. Icecat extended its data model by adding related features and feature definitions. This to ensure timely and consistent delivery in line with the above legislation requirements. For more information, please reach out to your Icecat account manager or register to learn more about our capabilities.


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