You are well advised to keep an eye on the legal decision-making parameters in every business transaction. The prerequisites for this are economic know-how and in-depth industry experience. Our member companies receive the necessary legal input - individually and tailored for mechanical engineering.

Themenfeldgrafik Recht

Aus unseren Inhalten

Aus unseren Inhalten
High Fine for Export Restrictions on Distributors

The European Commission has imposed € 337.5 million fine on Mondelez due to sales restrictions imposed by Mondelez on its distributors.

Submission of a recall notice

Commission publishes model for recall notices under the General Product Safety Regulation

Federal Cartel Office fines vertical price fixing

After the ECJ’s decision in the Super Bock case, the German Federal Cartel Office still imposes a fine for vertical price fixing.

More ratifications by Member States are needed

More than 27.000 patents have been registered in a total of 17 Member States after one year. The VDMA is calling on the other EU Member States to also join the unitary patent system.

Improper certificates of incapacity for work in circulation

Recently, an increasing number of incorrect certificates of incapacity for work have been appearing. The Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA) has sent out a circular on this subject.

Strike statistics: Significant increase in conflict intensity

The Federal Employment Agency (BA) has published its strike statistics for 2023. Compared to the previous year, the number of working days lost has more than doubled. The number of affected companies more than tripled.

Flood events: Receipt of short-time allowance

The floods in Germany have already caused considerable damage in some federal states - particularly in Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate - and many companies have experienced restrictions.

BGH: GDPR right to information can include all correspondence from a person

The BGH clarifies that copies of documents of the data subject may also be covered by a request for information. In addition, it must be examined whether complete documents are required to contextualize the processed data.

Newsletter Law

The monthly legal update for the mechanical engineering industry - exclusively for member companies

Illegal advertising with TÜV seal

There is no unrestricted freedom of advertising in this area. A recent decision by Hamburg Regional Court makes this clear in relation to advertising with a TÜV seal.

New garnishment exemption limits from July 01, 2024

On May 16, 2024, the 2024 garnishment exemption limits pursuant to Section 850c ZPO were published in the Federal Law Gazette.

ECJ ruling deals with GDPR damages, among other things

The ECJ ruling of April 11, 2024 defines the framework for claims for damages in the event of GDPR violations and non-material damage.

Data protection in the commercial register: No right to data erasure

Munich Higher Regional Court confirms: No right to erasure of data in shareholder lists. General Data Protection Regulation provides no basis.

Development of working hours in 2023 - forecasts for 2024

In its summary report (06/2024), the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) has published updated figures on the development of working hours in 2023 as well as forecasts for 2024.

Web-Event: Litigation or Arbitration in the USA

On Tuesday, June 4th, 2024, 2:30-4:00 pm (CET), VDMA offers an exclusive Web-Event on Litigation or Arbitration in the USA – How to protect you company in advance.

LkSG reporting obligation suspended until January 1, 2025

In view of the implementation of the CSRD Directive, BAFA is once again suspending the reporting obligation under the LkSG and will only check the existence of a report from January 1, 2025.

The EU-Parliament agrees on its position

The plenary of the European Parliament has adopted its report on late payments. What are the most important elements in relation to payment terms? And what are the next steps?

VDMA FAQ on the AI Regulation available

The European Parliament gave the green light for the so-called AI Regulation on March 13, 2024. A VDMA FAQ document was prepared together with the law firm FPS to provide non-binding guidance.

Overview of publications

Guides, fact sheets and more for our members: The "focus Recht" series and other publications from the legal department address legal issues for members in a clear and comprehensible manner.

Joint declaration of the "Alliance for Public Procurement Law"

The "Alliance FOR Public Procurement Law" is committed to simplified public procurement law, uniform nationwide procurement regulations and to preventing more and more public contracts from being removed from public procurement law.

Application of German copyright law to a foreign website

A foreign-language website of a foreign company can also be subject to German copyright law.

Introductory volume on the new EU Product Liability Directive

The new Product Liability Directive introduces new and stricter EU product liability law for the digital era.

5% limit for contractual penalties in unit price contracts ineffective

BGH declares contractual penalty with 5% upper limit in relation to the order amount in unit price contracts invalid

Free access to technical standards

What does the ruling of the EU Court of Justice of 5 March 2024 mean for standardization practice?

Asymptomatic corona infection can be an illness

A symptomless coronavirus infection can also be an illness within the meaning of the Continued Remuneration Act.

Evidence Act: Text form is coming after all!

Following a coalition agreement on the planned amendment to the Verification Act, text form in accordance with Section 126b BGB will be possible in future. The VDMA had campaigned vehemently for this simplification.

Cannabis legalization: Effects on the employment relationship

On 22.03.2024, the Federal Council approved the Bundestag's resolution on the Act on the Controlled Use of Cannabis and the Amendment of Other Regulations (Cannabis Act - CanG).

Legislative resolution of the EU Parliament on the AI Regulation

On 13.03.2024, the European Parliament gave the green light for the so-called AI Regulation. It is intended to ensure safety and respect for fundamental rights in the context of artificial intelligence and promote innovation.

"A flexible working time law brings a lot and costs nothing"

Commenting on today's plenary debate on the CDU/CSU motion to make working hours more flexible, VDMA Managing Director Thilo Brodtmann said:

Salary repayment due to reduced performance in home office?

The burden of proof for a breach of the obligation to work from home lies with the employer.

Commission updates Notice on market definition

Market definition is the linchpin in antitrust cases. We provide an overview of the first revision of the Notice after 27 years.

Working Hours Act: New edition of the focus Recht brochure available

The focus Recht brochure "The Working Hours Act (ArbZG) at a glance" has been updated and is now available in a new edition.

Second stage of the Skilled Immigration Act comes into force

The reformed Skilled Immigration Act was passed last year. The first part, facilitations for the Blue Card, came into force in November 2023. The second stage was reached on March 1, 2024.

Tightening of the Lobby Register Act from March 1, 2024

On March 1, 2024, the new Lobby Register Act came into force and with it numerous tightening of the existing regulations, which expand the circle of legally obliged lobbyists and their obligations.

Implementation of the EU Anti-Money Laundering Pact is progressing

Commission drafts of the Anti-Money Laundering Regulation and Anti-Money Laundering Directive published. Frankfurt am Main decided as the seat of the AMLA.

Strict liability standard for data protection compliance in companies

The Berlin Court of Appeal has ruled in a case that companies are liable per se in the area of GDPR violations. An administrative order imposing a fine does not have to specify the natural person who may have been responsible for a breach of duty.

Foreign assignments: Which employment law applies?

From a legal perspective, working abroad constitutes a so-called cross-border situation, which leads to a collision of different legal systems.

Training contracts: Text form planned instead of written form

On 7 February 2020, the Federal Cabinet passed the Vocational Training Validation and Digitization Act (BVaDiG).

Short-time work: Current brochure available

The brochure "Kurzarbeit und Kurzarbeitergeld" from the focus RECHT series has been updated and is now available in its 17th edition.

Job turbo for the integration of refugees - an overview

A job turbo is intended to improve the labor market integration of refugees. To this end, refugees are to attend appointments at the job center more frequently and be placed with companies even with limited language skills.

Will the Supply Chain Directive fail?

Vote on 09.02.2024 in the European Council postponed due to opposition to the European Supply Chain Directive, the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD)

Form of providing information

Providing information in accordance with Art. 15 GDPR by unencrypted email violates GDPR.

Advice centers for the employment of severely disabled persons

Since January 1, 2024, employers who do not reach the quota of severely disabled employees have been subject to higher rates of the compensatory levy.

Compensation for damages due to refusal to take back goods

A seller's refusal to take back the defective purchased item after the buyer has withdrawn from the purchase contract may be considered a breach of the duty of consideration (Section 241 (2) BGB) in the obligation to return.

ECJ: Erroneous disclosure of personal data / no damage

In its ruling of 25.01.2024, the ECJ decided that an erroneous disclosure of personal data does not per se lead to compensation for "non-material damage". Art. 82 para. 1 GDPR serves the purpose of compensation, not punishment.

Less competition in the awarding of contracts

According to a special report by the European Court of Auditors, there was less competition in the award of contracts for works, goods and services in the EU in the period 2011-2021.

Greenwashing - a legal classification

It is not uncommon for companies to advertise their products as climate-neutral. Against this background, a legal framework is needed to protect against misleading advertising.

Still no debureaucratization at labour law

The Federal Ministry of Justice has presented a draft bill for a law to reduce bureaucracy. The employment law part is disappointing with minimal changes to the Evidence Act.

VDMA FAQ on the EU Data Regulation (third edition) available

The EU Data Regulation came into force on January 11, 2024. A VDMA FAQ document has been compiled and updated to provide non-binding guidance.

Differences in earnings between employees covered and not covered by collective agreements

A recent analysis by the German Economic Institute (IW) has examined the extent to which differences in earnings can be attributed to the employer's collective bargaining coverage or to other structural differences.

Our expert and focus topics

Our expert and focus topics
GTC reform
Companies depend on legally secure contractual regulations. The restrictive application of German law on general terms and conditions (GTC) prevents this - resulting in great legal uncertainty and liability risks.
Labor Market
Competitiveness, growth and job security require adaptability, value creation based on the division of labour and a flexible labour market. Digitalisation requires modern framework conditions for Work 4.0.
Labor law
Whether it be short-time work, service contracts, working shifts or home office, the parameters for modern work and flexible crisis measures are changing continuously.
Covid-19 Legal Consequences
The Covid 19 pandemic presents an exceptional situation for companies and employees as well as for suppliers and customers. Many legal questions still need to be answered, e.g. regarding the areas of labor law, contract law, and tax law. In addition, there are numerous legal requirements for travel activities and various quarantine regulations.
Home Office
For many employees, working in a home office is a completely new situation that has caught them very unprepared due to the pandemic. This raises a host of practical and legal issues.
Technological Sovereignty
Technological sovereignty as a goal is gaining importance regarding the changed geopolitical situation. International division of labor and global trade are our drivers of prosperity and are existential, especially for the mechanical engineering sector.
Standort Deutschland
Many medium-sized mechanical engineering companies have regional roots and are highly competitive internationally from their home region. To ensure that this remains the case, excellent site conditions and a good industrial policy are absolutely essential.
European Policy
Europe is the home market for the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry, one of the largest industrial sectors in the EU economy. VDMA therefore stands for a competitive EU.
Europe and China
The perception of China in Germany and Europe has changed in recent years. Firstly, China is an important economic partner and also of significant importance for the German mechanical engineering sector. On the other hand, there is growing recognition at economic and political level in Germany and the European Union (EU) that the existing imbalance with China, for example in market access, is no longer acceptable.
VDMA Infoportal Ukraine War
The machinery and plant engineering sector condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. The VDMA supporta its member companies in word and deed in order to master the many challenges that are arising.
Plant Engineering
Mechanical and plant engineering companies from all over Europe are involved in the VDMA. Mechanical engineering is a familiar term to many, but what characterizes plant engineering?

Level 1 Themenwolke


To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Legal

"Germany as a business and industry location needs fresh input"

Karl Haeusgen, VDMA President

Auf den Punkt Zahl Legal



of the total worldwide annual turnover of the previous financial year or up to EUR 35,000,000, whichever is higher, is the maximum fine for non-compliance with the prohibition of AI practices referred to in Article 5 of the EU AI Regulation.

Source: European Parliament

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Recht

Adoption of the draft late payment regulation by the EU Parliament
  • In September 2023, the EU Commission presented a draft for a new EU late payment regulation. The key point of the draft regulation to date has been a binding payment deadline of a maximum of 30 days, which is intended to prevent late payments. Member states are also to set up so-called "enforcement authorities". Payment transactions are therefore to be placed under "administrative supervision", so to speak. The draft regulation was subject to massive and widespread criticism from associations, economic players, chambers of commerce, etc. The VDMA was also critical of the draft in its current form.
  • The legislative process continues to progress. On March 20, 2024, the responsible Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the EU Parliament adopted the draft report with some amendments, followed by the plenary of the European Parliament on April 23, 2024. The EU Parliament has thus now defined its position: A 30-day payment period is still envisaged in principle, although the period can be extended to up to 60 days in commercial transactions or even up to 120 days for certain product categories if expressly agreed. The European Parliament has therefore deviated from the original Commission proposal, meaning that the massive criticism of the original draft has been partially taken into account. However, doubts remain as to whether the changes are far-reaching enough, especially as the creation of "enforcement authorities" is to be retained.
  • The Council is currently still a long way from reaching an agreement. It is currently unclear if and when trilogue negotiations will take place. The legislative process is also not due to be completed until the next political cycle. The VDMA will continue to monitor the process.



Wed. 26.06.24 Wed. 26.06.24

  • Patent Law
  • Industrial Communication
  • Electrical Automation

Standard essential patents (SEPs) in the field of wireless communications make a significant contribution to innovation. To this end, it is beneficial for mechanical engineering to learn about the functioning of the innovation and standardization ecosystem as well as the SEP licensing models of the telecommunications industry.

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Unsere Leistungen

Unsere Leistungen
Your contact persons in the Legal Department
for legal issues in mechanical engineering - exclusively for our member companies


Our publications
Guides, leaflets, and more for our members: The "focus Recht" series and other publications from the Legal department address members' legal queries clearly and comprehensibly.
Newsletter Legal Department
The monthly legal update for the mechanical engineering industry - exclusively for member companies
In co-operation with the German Mechanical Engineering Institute (MBI), the legal department offers member companies seminars and events on current topics and legal issues.
VDMA Compliance Program
The VDMA promotes free and fair competition. In order to guarantee genuine and undistorted competition and legal security for members in their day-to-day association work, the VDMA is committed to a comprehensive compliance program.
Sample Contract/General Terms and Conditions
We provide sample contracts specific to the mechanical engineering sector as well as general terms and conditions for Germany and abroad - to ensure the legal protection of your business transactions.
Consulting, Information, Lectures
The legal department at the VDMA consists of a team of lawyers specializing in the capital goods industry. Here you will receive individualized legal input - competently, quickly and at no additional cost, tailor-made for the mechanical engineering sector.
Working Groups of the Legal Department
In our working groups, we share current information and enable specialist discussions. Topics covered by the working groups include plant construction law, labor law, compliance management and industrial property protection.


Annual Report of the Legal Department
The current annual report of the Legal Department has been published. Member companies can download it here.

Working groups/Committees

Working groups/Committees

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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

3,600 primarily medium-sized member companies in the capital goods industry make the VDMA the largest industrial association in Europe and the most important network organization in the industry.

Strong representation of interests

The VDMA is the most important voice of the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry. It represents the common economic, technical and scientific interests of the industry in Germany and around the world.

A wide range of services

More than 500 VDMA employees worldwide support you with practical services to make the right decisions in your company - along the entire value chain.