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CPSC Details Import Safety Activities for First Half of FY 2013

Monday, December 09, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported this week that its risk assessment methodology pilot targeting system helped to screen more than 12,400 different imported consumer product shipments in the first half of fiscal year 2013 (Oct. 1, 2012, through March 31, 2013). Not only did this import surveillance protect consumers from millions of violative and defective goods, the CPSC states, but it also prevented various importers and retailers from having to carry out costly recalls.

A CPSC press release states that the RAM pilot allows CPSC investigators to analyze data provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, identify high-risk shipments of consumer goods arriving at U.S. ports of entry and make calculated decisions about which shipments to inspect. It also allows the CPSC to recognize compliant, low-risk cargo to prevent these shipments from being delayed at the ports. The Commission states that while this program is still in the pilot phase it hopes to secure funding to expand it in the future.

Highlights of the CPSC’s import stoppage statistics for the first half of FY 2013 include the following.

- 12,435 total screenings led to the stoppage of 6.1 million units of 678 products

- Children’s products represented 87% of the number of products stopped and 20% of total units stopped. The primary violations or defects were lead (paint or content, 57%), followed by phthalates (10%), certification (8%), tracking labels (7%), small parts (5%), art materials (4%), drawstrings (3%), durable nursery products (2%) and battery-operated toys (1%). The remaining 3% included sharp points, pacifiers, rattles, dive sticks and misbranded toys.

- Non-children’s products represented 13% of the number of products stopped but 80% of total units stopped. Products stopped included holiday lights (26%), cigarette lighters (19%), fireworks (17%), hair dryers (17%), electric cooking appliances (6%), mattress flammability (2%), luminaries (2%) and extension cords (2%). The remaining 10% included electric fans, portable electric lamps, soldering irons and other substantial product hazards.

A list of products seized for violations of federal mandatory standards during this period can be found here.

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