Meetings Explore Toy Safety Legislation and Standards in the EU and U.S.

26 June 2012

Representatives from the European Commission (EC), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), ASTM International, and the private sector gathered in Washington, DC on 26 June to hold discussions on toy safety legislation and standards in the EU and the U.S.

North American Toy Industry Association (TIA) staff members Al Kaufman, SVP of technical affairs and Joan Lawrence, VP of standards and government affairs/chair of the ASTM subcommittee on toy safety, spoke alongside safety and regulatory experts from the EC; the CPSC; the Toy Industries of Europe (TIE); and ASTM International at meetings on Capitol Hill and at the EU Delegation to the US.

During the morning workshop, speakers briefed Congressional staff regarding the contrasting regulatory frameworks and standards development practices in the EU and U.S. A more detailed session followed in the afternoon, where participants learned more about the differences and similarities in toy regulations and standards in the U.S. and EU; the impact of differing and overlapping standards on transatlantic trade and safety; and the possibilities for standards alignment and/or mutual recognition of conformity.

“We are happy to have been invited to participate in these workshops, and believe that the discussions were productive and constitute a notable step forward on the long road to greater toy standards alignment and transatlantic mutual recognition of conformity,” said Lawrence.

Later that week, the CPSC also hosted the Third United States – European Union – China Trilateral Consumer Product Safety Summit at its headquarters in Bethesda, MD. Officials from the EC and China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) were in attendance at the summit, which focused on how the three agencies can advance product safety via coordinated surveillance throughout the manufacturing and distribution chains.

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