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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 13 June 2014

Working together for safe products: International Product Safety Week 2014

Every 2 years, policy makers, industry, consumer organisations and many others from across the world gather to discuss how to cooperate in order to reinforce product safety. The aim of the International Product Safety Week is to promote the safety of consumer products and international cooperation. This year focus of attention is on strengthening international co-operation and supporting approaches such as "seamless surveillance" to strengthen consumer safety at every point of the supply chain from design to destination.

”In a globalising world with increasingly global production chains ensuring the safety of consumers world-wide means we must reach out beyond our borders. Working together with our international partners on safety issues results in being more effective in protecting consumers.” said Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for Consumer Policy.

European Consumer Policy Commissioner Neven Mimica, the Executive Director and Chairman-Designate of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Elliot F. Kaye, and Sun Dawei, the Chinese Vice Minister of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), will attend some of the many conferences and events taking place. Of particular note are:

  1. The high-level Trilateral EU-China-US Consumer Safety Summit will take place with the participation of Commissioner Mimica and his Chinese and US counterparts (19 June). In addition to Seamless surveillance the topics under discussion include consumer product tracking and traceability and how best to raise awareness about consumer product safety.

  1. PROSAFE, the umbrella organisation for market surveillance authorities from across the European Economic Area, is organising an event to discuss how product safety controls can improve with strengthened cooperation between different countries, with the aim to eliminate dangerous consumer products from the market (19 June).

  1. International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organisation (ICPHSO) international symposium, centred on the theme of international co-operation between product safety regulators in a changing global economic environment

  1. RAPEX-CHINA Working Group meeting between the EU and Chinese regulators. This session will identify some of the most pressing challenges faced regulators and surveillance authorities today

Small batteries, big risks

Tragically in the last few months fatal accidents involving children were reported in France, Latvia and the United Kingdom. These accidents had one, small, element in common: button batteries.

Most consumers are not aware of the damage button batteries can cause, if swallowed. To help raise awareness the European Commission will join the OECD’s global campaign, an International Awareness Week on Button Battery Safety (follow the Twitter hashtag #worldbatterysafety), from 16-20 June, 2014. The key messages of this campaign are addressed to consumers/parents and businesses to ensure button batteries do not end up in the hands of children. An awareness raising event on the risks of button batteries will be held on 17 June during the International Product Safety Week.

Background

This is the 5th International Product Safety Week. The event takes place every two years and gathers consumer product safety professionals and stakeholders from around the globe, representing regulators, businesses, consumer organisations and other experts to work together in advancing product safety issues globally. In previous editions of the Week, international product safety discussions took place also with highlights such as in 2012 the launch of the OECD Global Recalls Portal.

For more information, please see:

The website of the International Product Safety Week 2014:

http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/events/ipsw_2014/index_en.htm

The OECD webpage on the Awareness raising campaign on Button Batteries:

http://www.oecd.org/internet/consumer/consumerproductsafetyworkattheoecd.htm

Twitter and social media:

- follow the twitter accounts @eu_consumer and (Commissioner’s) @MimicaEU

- check the hastags #IPSW2014 and #worldbatterysafety

Contacts :

David Hudson (+32 2 296 83 35)

Andreana Stankova (+32 2 295 78 57)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail


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