Discussions Are Underway About A Global Standard For Labeling Children' Goods

by Aruna on Jul 31 2009 4:40 PM

The US's product safety chief said that a global standard for the labeling of goods for children would help make them safer.

Inez Moore Tenenbaum, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said the commission was in talks with international counterparts on a universal labeling system to trace the origins of imported goods for children.

"Preliminary discussions were underway about a universal label tracking system," she said during a visit to Hong Kong to meet members of the trading community.

Setting a global standard would help cut the cost of tracking suppliers for toy retailers, as each country now has its own labeling rules.

Product safety officials from around the world would meet in Stockholm in September to discuss the issue, she added.

Tenenbaum said that the number of toy product recalls in the US had dropped this year, as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act 2008 is being phased in.

Under the Act, toy makers are required to comply with US label tracking rules, and to have certain products tested and certified in accredited laboratories starting from mid-August.

The law was passed by Congress after millions of Chinese goods were recalled globally in 2007 amid fears that they contained toxic lead paints or had dangerous design flaws.

There were only 20 cases of toy recalls in the US so far this year, compared to 65 cases for the whole of 2008, she said.

Tenenbaum did not have a breakdown of where the recalled toys came from, but said that more than 90 percent of the 22 billion dollars' worth of toys that have been imported into the US this year were from China.