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Imported Children’s Products See More Problems with Phthalates and Tracking Labels

Thursday, May 08, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported May 5 an increase in imported shipments screened through its risk assessment methodology targeting system and stopped for violative or defective products during the second half of fiscal year 2013 (April 1 through Sept. 30, 2013).

The RAM allows CPSC investigators to analyze certain data provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection about shipments of consumer products arriving at U.S. ports of entry and to then make risk-based decisions about which shipments to inspect. The RAM also allows the Commission to recognize low-risk cargo and facilitate its movement through the ports. The CPSC deployed the RAM as a pilot project in late 2011 and is now proposing to expand it.

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

- The RAM helped to screen 14,111 imported consumer product shipments, up from 12,435 .

- Screenings led to the stoppage of 8.2 million units (up from 6.1 million) of 616 violative or defective products (down from 678).

- Children’s products represented 89% of the number of products stopped (up from 87%) and 20% of total units stopped (down from 25%). The primary violations or defects were lead (paint or content, 41%, down from 57%), phthalates (20%, up from 10%), tracking labels (11%, up from 7%), art materials (8%, up from 4%), small parts (7%, up from 5%), certification (3%, down from 8%), durable nursery products (3%, up from 2%), misbranded toys (2%), misbranded balloons (1%), and battery-operated toys (1%). The remaining 3% included drawstrings (which totaled 3% during the previous period), pacifiers and rattles.

- Non-children’s products represented 11% of the number of products stopped (down from 13%) but 75% of total units stopped (down from 80%). Products stopped included fireworks (75%), cigarette/multi-purpose lighters (12%), mattress flammability (9%), generator labeling (3%) and hair dryers (1%).

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

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