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December 9, 2008

Recent Developments in Safety Law for Foreign-Sourced Products

Facing an increasingly global supply chain, Congress and various states have enacted a number of changes in the country's product safety codes designed to protect consumers. Walk down the aisle of any department store today and you're likely to find a series of products made and sourced from outside the United States. The safety of these components is coming under increased scrutiny, which has made 2008 a banner year for new legislative proposals for product safety laws.

With the holiday season in full swing, many of these developments are at the forefront of consumer buying decisions. This past August, Congress granted a series of new regulatory powers to the Consumer Safety Product Commission, including more rigorous testing standards for children's toys and expanded resources for enforcement, http://cpsc.gov/cpsia.pdf.  The Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008 also, importantly, extended the ability of state Attorney Generals to enforce regulations at the state-level.

Given the complexities of international supply chains, the ability of the CSPC to effectively monitor and control product safety has been challenged over the past decade. The dual shift to establish global databases to share information across governmental entities, along with gaining access to data from corporate sources, while also giving states more powers to enforce the laws marks one of the most fundamental shifts in product safety laws in recent decades. As evidence of these new powers, the California Attorney General's office http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Californias-Supervising-Deputy-Attorney-General/story.aspx?guid={0DD6C84A-D7D3-487C-BE28-70C44079C1CE}

led a press conference to help importers to understand the new regulations heading into the holiday season.  One particular compound that has come under increased scrutiny is lead – although most direct lead sources were banned previously, indirect sources have led to small amounts of the substance, which may still be harmful to children. The California Attorney General's office also lead the way in enforcement, speeding up adoption of the new regulatory guidelines by way of a successfi; lawsuit http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2008/12/05/96065.htm.

As manufacturers look to lower their sourcing costs, a stricter set of product safety law guidelines has made the equation more complex.  Fortunately for consumers, the new guidelines contain a mechanism for both measurement and enforcement going forward.

This Article was contributed by Maya Richard, who is a content writer on the subject of http://www.cablemodemhelp.com internet service and can be reached with feedback at mayarichard@gmail.com.

December 9, 2008 | Permalink

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