CPSC Stopped More Than 12.5 Million Dangerous Products from Reaching Homes in 2013
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) system for targeting certain high-risk cargo continued to net results in the last half of fiscal year 2013 leading to the identification of about 8.2 million units of consumer products that violated U.S. safety rules or that were found to be defective. For all of fiscal year 2013, more than 12.5 million units of violative imports were prevented from reaching the hands of U.S. consumers.
CPSC's targeting system, known as the RAM (risk assessment methodology), was deployed as a pilot project in late 2011. Currently, CPSC is proposing to expand the RAM program, so that the program can reach its full potential of actively preventing dangerous imports from entering the stream of commerce, while facilitating compliant trade.
The RAM allows CPSC investigators to analyze certain data provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) about shipments of consumer products arriving at U.S. ports of entry, and then make risk-based decisions about which shipments to inspect. The RAM also allows CPSC to recognize low-risk cargo and facilitate its movement through the ports.
Using the RAM, CPSC investigators and their CBP counterparts were able to screen more than 14,000 different imported consumer product shipments during the last two quarters of 2013.
During that six-month period, the screenings led to the identification of more than 600 shipments containing violative or defective products, totaling about 8.2 million units -- all of which CPSC and CBP prevented from moving into the U.S. stream of commerce and into the hands of consumers.
About 550 of the 600 product shipments investigators stopped were children's products totaling about 2.1 million units.
The leading hazards identified in shipments of children's products continued to be lead content or lead in paint in higher than allowable amounts. Additional hazards identified were products that contained phthalates and toys and other articles with small parts that present a choking hazard for children younger than 3 years old.