QCA Director Fenton Attends International Summit of Product Safety
D E Fenton, executive director of compliance for the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), based in Chicago, attended the 3rd Biennial United States-China Consumer Product Safety Summit, a symposium between the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and its counterpart agency, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ). The invitation-only event was held October 21 to 26, in the cities of Wuxi, Shanghai and Beijing, China.
This year’s summit emphasized a more significant commitment to a comprehensive approach to product safety. With input from U.S. and Chinese stakeholders, CPSC and AQSIQ discussed measures to ensure that U.S. importers and Chinese suppliers establish a comprehensive and systemic approach to preventing and detecting safety hazards in consumer products, from product design, through manufacturing and to the ultimate use of the product by the consumer.
Additionally, this year’s meeting built upon the activities undertaken by both agencies since the 2007 summit, which focused on ensuring that manufacturers understood the necessity of meeting both industry-based voluntary standards and U.S. requirements (particularly ending the use of leaded paint on toys), information exchanges on recalls and other pressing product safety matters, and training Chinese government officials and manufacturers on CPSC requirements.
“Until now, the dialog between CPSC and AQSIQ on product safety has been exclusively bilateral,” said Fenton. “The inclusion of industry stakeholders at this year’s summit emphasizes the point that while voluntary arrangements are being instituted, the success of these programs relies on commitment from the stakeholders to ensure product safety policies are translated into effective management programs that are both implemented and adhered to.”
Fenton was one of 20 individuals selected to attend by the CPSC, after reviewing her application and details about QCA’s mission and purpose in the promotional products industry. Summit attendees included top leadership from CPSC and AQSIQ, third-party testing companies, various industry initiatives impacted by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), and brand and retailer compliance firms.