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Brussels, 17 November 2008

Consumer Product Safety – a Common Objective

Joint Press Statement from the High-level European Union – China – United States Consumer Product Safety Trilateral Summit

Ensuring a high level of product safety is a matter of shared concern for the European Union, China and the United States. Combined efforts and intensified cooperation are in the mutual interest of our citizens and economies.

Following the successful “Joint U.S.-EU-China Initiative on Consumer Product Safety Compliance" held in China in September 2008, the product safety authorities of the European Union (European Commission, EC), the U.S. (Consumer Product Safety Commission, CPSC) and China (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, AQSIQ) today took an important further step in strengthening their trilateral cooperation in this area.

Mrs. Kuneva, the European Commissioner responsible for Consumer Affairs, welcomed to Brussels U.S. CPSC Chairman Nord and AQSIQ Vice Minister Wei to discuss at the highest level key developments and further joint activities that could be undertaken to improve cooperation and the exchange of information relating to consumer product safety. This top-level Tripartite summit took place in a spirit of resolve, openness and mutual respect. Consensus was reached on the following points:

  1. The Tripartite participants confirm that the ability of global supply chains to deliver safe products to consumers is paramount. Consumers worldwide must be able to trust the safety of products they buy on a day-to-day basis.
  2. The Tripartite participants agree that, given the ever-increasing EU-China-U.S. share of global consumer product trade, product safety is an area of shared concern and that enhanced cooperation and resolution of existing and future issues is essential to ensure the safety of consumer products.
  3. The Tripartite participants stress that over the past few years, great efforts have been made to improve consumer product safety, both unilaterally as well as in the framework of the established bilateral mechanisms for cooperation, such as the RAPEX rapid alert information exchanges between the EU and China and the CPSC-AQSIQ Manufacturer Notification Procedure.
  4. The Tripartite participants regard the existing bilateral cooperation agreements as sufficient basis upon which to build and extend their trilateral collaboration. The need for additional, specific mechanisms to support their tri-lateral efforts can be reviewed periodically.
  5. The Tripartite participants agree that the following specific actions have priority within the overall cooperation framework:

a) Against the backdrop of the requirements of their respective systems, explore possibilities to develop harmonized approaches, where possible, for product traceability systems.

b)°Support efforts to compare the existing toy safety standards in the participants' respective jurisdictions with a view to identifying areas for further convergence while recognising that the differentiated needs of the participants' own consumers may necessitate unique requirements.

c) Collaborate more closely in the area of children's products safety by sharing information about regulatory and standardisation developments with each other as early as possible with a view to facilitating compatibility and where possible, alignment of the relevant requirements. As a first step, no later than January 1, 2009, participants will share with each other anticipated regulatory developments for the period 2009-2010.

d) Solicit stakeholders participation, as appropriate, in order to take advantage of their experience and expertise.

e) When resources and administrative capacity permit, explore the potential for short term study or resident expert exchange visits to enhance mutual understanding among staff members at expert levels in the three administrations.

6 The Tripartite participants agree to hold the next “High-Level Consumer Product Safety Trilateral Summit” in 2009 at a date and place to be determined, to take stock of progress made and discuss further cooperative efforts.

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