Addressing New Product Risks a Challenge for CPSC

December 28, 2012

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) faces major hurdles in addressing new product risks, according to a recent study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Currently the CPSC uses market surveillance and formal agreements to oversee new product safety; however, GAO found that some information sharing restrictions may hamper the agency’s ability to identify product risk in a timely fashion.

In addition, the study found the CPSC using outdated information because the agency is unable to sift through the large amounts of data it collects.

In order to address these issues, the CPSC is upgrading its data management system. The upgrade, which will allow consumers to search product safety information, is expected to be operational in 2014. The agency will work with Customs and Border Protections to identify unsafe consumer products at port, according to the GAO study.

Finally, the study recommends a possible amendment to section 29(f) of the Consumer Product Safety Act to allow greater sharing of information with foreign counterparts.

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