3rd U.S.-China Consumer Product Safety Summit Coming Next Month

The 3rd Biennial United States – China Consumer Product Safety Summit between the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and its counterpart agency, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ), will be held in Wuxi, Jinhua, and Beijing, China Oct. 21-26. At the last summit, in 2007, the countries delegations focused on ensuring that manufacturers understood the necessity of meeting both voluntary standards and U.S. requirements (particularly toward ending the use of leaded paint on toys), information exchanges on recalls and other pressing product safety matters, and training Chinese government officials and manufacturers on CPSC requirements. The creation of a Chinese language section of the CPSC Web site emerged from the 2007 discussions.

CPSC says the goal of the 2009 Summit is to bring the dialogue to a new level, emphasizing the need for commitment to a more comprehensive approach to product safety. With input from U.S. and Chinese stakeholders, CPSC and AQSIQ will identify and discuss measures to ensure that U.S. importers and Chinese suppliers establish a comprehensive and systemic approach to preventing and detecting safety hazards in consumer products--from product design, through manufacturing--and to the ultimate use of the product by the consumer. Toward that end, the summit agenda will include an examination of lessons learned over the past two years, as well as a discussion of new regulatory and voluntary tools that can be used to ensure continued progress.

In addition to overarching policy discussions, the summit agenda will include topical discussions of product safety issues, with toys, lead in children’s products, all terrain vehicles, lighters, and fireworks representing specific product areas where systemic progress may be made. A special, full-day program is planned for ATV issues.

CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum will lead the U.S. delegation. The agency says it and AQSIQ welcome stakeholder participation at the event and will, indeed, provide valuable insights into important product safety issues and help to ensure that regulators consider multiple viewpoints. Stakeholders attending the summit will hear from key U.S. and Chinese product safety officials, industry leaders, and consumer representatives and will have opportunities to interact with them during certain summit events, with the exception of the government-only meetings on the schedule.

According to CPSC,stakeholders will be able to take part in panel discussions and audience interactive sessions, site visits, and other activities as announced. Only 20 representatives will be selected to accompany the delegation, one representative per organization. Stakeholders interested in accompanying the CPSC delegation must contact CPSC via its Web site by midnight, Sept. 16, 2009, and fill out the "Conditions of Stakeholder Participation" form found at www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/conditions.pdf.

CPSC says it is looking for stakeholders who can represent the diverse range of U.S.-based stakeholder interests and will consider potential stakeholder participants using the following criteria:

  • The nature of the stakeholder’s connection to the safety of imported consumer products (under CPSC jurisdiction) from China;
  • CPSC's desire to assemble a delegation reflecting a diverse cross section of key stakeholder organizations; and
  • The chronological order in which interested stakeholders express their interest, via CPSC's Web site, in accompanying the CPSC delegation.

Political affiliation will not be taken into consideration when selecting participants, CPSC says, adding it will notify stakeholders selected to accompany the delegation within approximately one week. For more information, e-mail Laurie Hopkins in CPSC's Office of International Programs and Intergovernmental Affairs at [email protected] or call (301) 504-77987.

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