Study Finds 20% of Children's Products Manufactured in Singapore to be Unsafe
An international trade organization has found that nearly one in five children's products from Singapore, the world's 14th largest exporter, do not meet accepted standards for product safety. SPRING, an agency supported by Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry, said that in the past two years it has issued more than 100 stop-sale notices for children's products that it found to be unsafe.
In a report released on May 20, SPRING said it has reviewed more than 600 children's products since April 2011, when the country's Consumer Protection (Consumer Goods Safety Requirements) Regulations came into effect. Since then, the organization issued 120 stop-sale notices to manufacturers.
SPRING is empowered by the local government to stop the sale of products it deems unsafe. It can enforce the Consumer Protection Regulations with fines of $10,000, up to two years of jail time or both.
"We started off checking children's products because children are vulnerable consumers who need to be protected," said Steven Tan, group director for quality and standards at SPRING. "These checks have helped us identify potential safety issues and better focus our education and enforcement efforts."
Manufacturing makes up the single largest percentage of Singapore's economy, over a quarter of the country's $270 billion gross domestic product. Much of its manufacturing sector is dedicated to electronics, many of which are exported to the U.S. and other countries. The country is heavily dependent on its inport and export relationships, and Tan explained that SPRING will begin expanding its safety checks beyond children's products to other markets in order to comply with international standards.
The full report is available on SPRING's website.