CPSC Reveals New Import Safety Strategy

In an earlier post on the "year of China recalls," MassTortDefense noted legislative changes to the Consumer Product Safety Act and enhanced resources of the CPSC as a response to the spate of recalls.  The commission has announced it is now seeking public comments on a draft report, on Import Safety Strategy.

The Executive Summary notes that imports currently account for about 44 percent of all consumer products sold in the United States today, but they comprise over three-fourths of all product recalls administered by the agency. The value of all imported consumer products under the jurisdiction of the CPSC was an estimated $639 billion in 2007. Last year, approximately 42 percent of these
products were from China, and the value of these imports from China nearly quadrupled from
1998 to 2007.

The report describes a four-pronged strategy to deal with the issue if safety of imported products:

I.  Engage the private sector and foreign governments to foster both compliance with relevant safety standards and adoption of more effective techniques of identifying  potential product hazards;
II.  Build safety assurances into the production processes by promoting the use of safety standards by manufacturers, and verifying compliance through third-party testing and inspections where appropriate;
III.   Prevent unsafe products through strategically redeploying CPSC resources according to  principles of hazard analysis and risk management to target surveillance and inspection of the distribution chain; and
IV.   Identify and remove quickly product hazards in the market and provide real-time
communications to consumers, foreign governments, and the private sector.

Public comments are due  by May 30, 2008, and can be sent  via e-mail to
cpsc-os@cpsc.gov

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