Federal regulations governing the safety of foreign-made products help keep U.S. consumers safe, but the fact remains that a number of dangerous and sub-standard products continue to find their way onto retail shelves and into consumers’ homes nationwide. In response to this continuing problem, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it has stepped up regulatory efforts and interventions at several major U.S. ports of entry.
CPSC staff have been working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to screen several thousands of product shipments entering the country. For example, the combined efforts of staff trained to identify products that violate U.S. rules and standards have resulted in nearly 7 million units of about 1,700 different children’s products being stopped before they enter the marketplace.
In addition to toys and other children’s products, items targeted and frequently stopped at ports include mattresses, art materials, household chemicals, lighters, fireworks, bike helmets, and all-terrain vehicles. Violations of U.S. standards for flammability, lead paint, lead content, phthalates, and small parts are often why these products are intercepted before they can be sold to unsuspecting consumers.
“Intercepting dangerous products as quickly and as early as possible, well before they make their way into the hands of children and other consumers, is consistent with our vision for CPSC to continue enhancing its protection of America’s families,” said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
Imported products have long been screened at the port of entry by CPSC and CBP personnel. However, since its creation in 2008, the CPSC’s import surveillance and inspection team has steadily increased the size of its staff at U.S. ports of entry and other locations to keep pace with the ever-growing influx of imported products.
“We want the American public to know that CPSC stands for safety and we are doing all we can to identify and stop unsafe products from being introduced to our marketplace, so that consumers will have fewer things to worry about,” Tenenbaum said.