Saturday, September 29, 2007

9/11/07 U.S. and Chinese Product Safety Agencies Announce Agreement To Improve The Safety of Imported Toys and Other Consumer Products

In a cooperative effort to ensure the safety of children's toys, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced an agreement with its product safety counterparts in the Chinese government aimed at stopping the use of lead paint in the manufacture of toys and addressing other product safety issues.

At a"Consumer Product Safety Summit" held today in Washington, D.C., CPSC made known that China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) has agreed to take immediately action to eliminate the use of lead paint on Chinese manufactured toys exported to the United States.

Lead paint on toys sold in the U.S. has been banned since 1978. In addition to the lead paint agreement, the two agencies announced work plans for cooperation in four product categories: Toys, Fireworks, Cigarette Lighters, and Electrical Products. The Work Plans provide a roadmap for bilateral efforts to improve the safety of these products, which represent some of the most frequent hazards under CPSC's regulatory jurisdiction.

CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord stated that the Work Plans show "significant forward progress" in the agency's efforts to bring Chinese-made consumer products into line with U.S. safety rules. "This is an important signal from the Chinese government that it iss erious about working with CPSC to keep dangerous products out of American homes," said Acting Chairman Nord. "We will be looking for meaningful cooperation on the ground - that means not just with the Chinese government, but also with industry at both ends of the supplychain."

The Summit also resulted in an agreement by AQSIQ to increase their inspections of consumer products destined for the U.S. and to assist CPSC in tracing hazardous products to the manufacturer, distributor and exporter in China. The two agencies will review the plans' effectiveness within one year to identify possible areas for improvement.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals -contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

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