MyFondia VirtualLawyer
December 14, 2017

Day 14 - Christmas Gifts and Product Liability

Like for anyone manufacturing or distributing products, also the contents of packages delivered by Santa can sometimes be a little different than Santa had intended – transporting gifts in a sled can expose them to all kinds of blows and sometimes there might be a problem with the material of the gifts. To be honest, the elves don’t always work flawlessly either, even though they sure are a very skillful workforce. This is an issue that Santa has been bummed out about for a long time, since the elves have not succeeded in coming up with a foolproof solution for this. It would be especially unfortunate if the defective gifts would cause injuries to those who wait for Santa the most – the smallest one’s in the family. It’s not that Santa gives defective gifts intentionally, but every now and then unfortunate things happen even to Santa.

Santa and his elves have nevertheless tried to act carefully: Santa has acquired an assessment concerning the product liability risks in his operation from an impartial expert and taken care of the problematics found in the risk assessment - which weren’t even that many. Of course, Santa makes sure that also everything else is operated carefully in his organization: for instance, every electrical device manufactured in his workshop meet the requirements in the EMC directive and the applicable harmonized standards. Therefore, Santa can gladly give them as gifts not only in the EU but also in quite a few other countries as well – and the elves scrupulously check for every country outside of the EU that the gifts meet the local requirements. In that case the gifts are, in principal, considered to be safe in an authoritative level too.

Unfortunately, meeting the requirements isn’t always enough and unpleasant situations can sometimes arise. Santa has been clever though, since the welfare of children (as well as adults) is priority number one for Santa: he has implored the elves to report immediately on their observation visits to the workshop in Korvatunturi if it turns out that there’s a defect with gifts given out in previous years that could cause damage to people or property - not forgetting pets and other animals. There’s also a guide for the elves about what to do, who to report to and how if someone happens to detect a problem.

Santa has also agreed with suppliers of the gifts that are acquired as ready-made (nowadays there isn’t enough time to manufacture everything in Santa’s workshop and it wouldn’t be rational either) about many details specifically. They have to see that the products meet the requirements and are of high quality and also that if, despite everything, there would be a problem with E.G. the raw materials of the gifts, the workshop in Korvatunturi would hear about this immediately so that the elves would be able to change these problem cases to faultless ones asap. This is why Santa’s suppliers of raw materials or ready-made items need to keep an exact record of, for example, which batch of raw materials was used on a product. Then the elves make sure for their part that the recipients of each gift are recorded in the systems in Korvatunturi and so the possible problem gifts can be exchanged to new, whole ones asap. This way the recipient of the gift is hopefully left with a good spirit, the elves don’t need to exchange other than the defected gifts and Santa doesn’t have to answer unpleasant questions in the news or in court either – that would be unheard of!

The product liability team of Fondia wishes everyone a happy holiday season!