Sixth Consumer Product Safety Summit
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission;
General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China; and
The European Commission, Directorate - General for Justice and Consumers
Joint Press Statement
June 26, 2018
Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Since 2008, the central product safety authorities of the United States, China, and the European Union have pursued joint efforts to strengthen non-food consumer product safety and protect the end consumers. Previous Consumer Product Safety Trilateral Summits have led to improved information sharing and regulatory cooperation among the Tripartite Participants in order to promote the highest levels of consumer product safety.
During this Sixth High-Level Consumer Product Safety Trilateral Summit held today in Bethesda, Maryland, Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle, Vice Minister of General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China Zhang Jiwen, and Deputy Director -General of Directorate- General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission Francisco Fonseca Morillo took stock of the accomplishments of recent years, gathered input from a wide range of stakeholders, identified areas for joint work in product safety, and developed a path forward for future collaboration. The Summit focused on the product safety challenges presented by e-commerce, innovative products, and recurring product safety issues such as products using high energy batteries (e.g., lithium-ion). The event provided the Participants a chance to hear from a variety of stakeholders on consumer product safety matters of interest to them.
The 2018 Points of Consensus
1. The safety of consumers is the key area of shared concern for the Tripartite Participants. The Participants have achieved positive results to improve consumer product safety, through unilateral actions, through the framework of bilateral cooperation mechanisms, and through trilateral joint activities.
2. The development of e-commerce has created new challenges for government authorities responsible for consumer product safety, in particular concerning the surveillance of the safety of products sold online. The Tripartite Participants see collaboration with key stakeholders as fundamental to addressing consumer product safety issues in today’s global markets. In particular, the Participants view the rise of e-commerce and direct-to-consumer sales, together with rapid growth in the number of online sellers, as developments requiring new strategies to ensure consumer safety. They regard easy access to information about product safety requirements as essential and look for increased collaboration with third party platforms as a key element in outreach efforts.
3. As concrete measures to improve product safety information delivery to online sellers, the Participants are taking steps to ensure that, each of their jurisdictions will have available a web portal providing the public with appropriate information on the jurisdiction’s consumer product safety requirements. These resources can be used directly by e-commerce suppliers and promoted by third party platforms to their sellers in order to help sellers meet product safety requirements, including for cross-border sales.
4. Third party platforms are well placed to play an important role in product safety, due to the significant amount of products sold through their facilities. Therefore, the Tripartite Participants welcome participation by several leading platforms during this Consumer Product Safety Summit, as well as voluntary efforts already underway by third party platforms to increase the safety of products they offer on their websites. The Participants view as essential enhanced collaboration between third party platforms and public authorities responsible for product safety as well as continued efforts by the platforms to help ensure that only safe products are offered by their sellers.
5. The Tripartite Participants also think it is essential to strengthen collaboration in the studies of risks in order to manage risks associated with emerging products. They also wish to cooperate, where appropriate and within the limits of their legal authorities and resources, in enforcement on major product safety matters.
6. The Tripartite Participants renewed their commitment to encouraging the adoption of a culture of safety in product design, manufacturing, marketing, and in the supply chain. Moreover, they encouraged effective traceability of products to enable industry and governments to intervene quickly to prevent harm to consumers. The Tripartite Participants also renewed their commitments to collaborate in outreach and training activities and to continue to strengthen communication regarding consumer product safety requirements and policies, especially for new rules and policies and other significant changes.
Next Trilateral Meeting
The Tripartite Participants look forward to holding the next Consumer Product Safety Trilateral Summit during 2020 in the European Union. On that occasion, the Parties will have the opportunity to inform each other about progress toward improving the safety of products in the online environment.