ESSAGE FROM THE
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protectingthe public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than15,000 types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Over thepast 30 years, the CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumerproducts—such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and householdchemicals—contributed significantly to the substantial decline in the rate ofdeaths and injuries associated with consumer products.Many of the consumer products we use are no longer manufactured in theUnited States. Today, over 70% of toys, 95% of fireworks, and 59% ofelectrical products are manufactured in other countries, particularly in China.Imported products increased by 200% from 1997 to 2006 and currentlyabout two-thirds of all U.S consumer product recalls are of imported products. These recalls have includedchildren’s products that contain lead or lead-containing paint, toys with magnets, and explosive illegal fireworks.
In 2007, we intensified our efforts to reduce the hazards from imported consumer goods. In the summer of 2007,a number of imported products made in China, including painted toys and children’s jewelry, were found tocontain lead. We worked with industry to recall those toys already in the marketplace and prevent others fromentry into the U.S. In September 2007, we made an important breakthrough with the Chinese government whenwe hosted the 2
Biennial U.S.-Sino Product Safety Summit. At this Summit, CPSC reached agreement withour Chinese counterpart agency, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine,that the Chinese government would take immediate action to eliminate the use of lead paint on Chinesemanufactured toys exported to the U.S. This was an important signal that the Chinese government is seriousabout working with CPSC to keep dangerous products out of American homes. CPSC staff is also following upto assure that this commitment is fully implemented.To combat the problem further, we worked with the Chinese government to improve import safety. The Chinesegovernment agreed to: (1) increase inspections; (2) take specific steps to assist CPSC in tracing importedproducts with identified safety problems to Chinese firms; (3) exchange technical personnel with CPSC; (4)establish regular and systematic exchanges of information with CPSC about emerging product safety issues;and (5) attend CPSC-led training activities on the content of U.S. product safety standards and the importance ofadhering to all those standards.We are also working at home to improve import safety. In 2007, we:
Facilitated the translation of the summary provisions of nearly 300 U.S. safety standards into Chinese sothat Chinese manufacturers would understand U.S. product safety standards requirements whenmanufacturing various products;
Worked with Customs to improve CPSC’s electronic data exchange and our capabilities to identify, trackand stop hazardous products from entering the U.S.;
Cross-trained other federal agencies working at the ports to identify hazardous imported products;
Identified and implemented methods to decrease the time to test samples of imported products containinglead; and
Established an Import Safety Initiative.