By adhering to these measures, exporters can avoid long-term repercussions that may tarnish their brand name or country.
Manufacturers of children’s products wanting to export their products to the US have to ensure that their products comply with safety rules known as children’s product safety rules.
Some of the CPSC safety concerns highlighted were product failure to comply with a mandatory safety standard or voluntary standards relied upon by the commission, products with defects that pose substantial product hazard and potential risk of serious injury or death.
Hence, manufacturers and importers have to test their products for compliance, which can be done via first party test or third party test.
First party test is carried out by manufacturers themselves while third party test is done by testing labs or CPSC-accepted testing labs.
“Test results will be compiled in a certificate at the end of the test.
“First party tests have to be renewed every year while third party tests are to be renewed every two years
“The three types of third party testing are initial third party testing, also known as certification testing, material change testing, and periodic testing,” said CPSC Southeast Asia International Programs program manager Arlene Flecha.
Certificates of conformity must identify the manufacturer or importer issuing the certificate and specify each applicable regulation, standard, or ban.
These certificates should also include the date and place where the product was manufactured as well as the date and place where the product was tested.
Products that are exported to the US are first checked by port investigators, who are equipped with XRF guns to test the lead content on the products.
“Products are targeted based on risk. For example, if it is a first time supplier, we will take a close look and lead-test the products.
“We also look for correct labelling, tracking labels and warning labels that accompany the product.
After the shipment is transported to the retailers, we then have the compliance group with field agents all over the states to survey the retail stores,” explained CPSC office of hazard identification and reduction program manager Jake Miller.
Meanwhile, products that do not meet CPSC requirements are retracted from the market.
Manufacturers and retailers have the option to either recall or retrofit the product. Sometimes, they may be required to refund customers in monetary forms.
“Some products are held at US ports, as they do not meet CPSC requirements.
“So, importers can redirect the product to another party who can modify the product and resell it.
This process is known as retrofitting,” said Miller during the Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF) 2015 at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) yesterday.
Flecha advised manufacturers and importers to ensure that safe products enter the supply chain.
“Safety should be designed into the product and the supply chain should be controlled well to upkeep its integrity.
“To avoid problems, samples should be tested early and often. Unauthorised component substitutions can easily lead to a recall. The cost of testing is a tiny fraction of the costs associated with recalls and violations,” Flecha added.
To find out more about product guidance and specifications provided by USCPSC, visitwww.cpsc.gov/en/Business--Manufacturing/Business-Education/.