Friday, May 18, 2012

Ensuring the safety of consumer goods

SINGAPORE: Suppliers are now taking proactive steps to ensure that consumer goods sold in the market are safe.

At the same time, public awareness of consumer product safety has also been raised.

This is the assessment by a joint working group formed in July 2011 to look into ways to make consumer goods safer.

SPRING Singapore highlighted these improvements on Friday, a year after the Consumer Protection (Consumer Goods Safety Requirements) Regulations (CGSR) was introduced in April 2011.

The working group comprises representatives from SPRING Singapore, Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), Singapore Toys & Confectionery Dealers' Association, Federation of Merchants' Associations, Singapore and Singapore Retailers' Association.

The group has been working with the industry to educate the public, manufacturers, distributors and retailers on product safety.

This includes a dedicated hotline for consumers to ask questions and send alerts on unsafe products.

SPRING has also been acting on consumer feedback.

It has received over 400 enquiries on consumer products through various feedback channels. These have enabled it to identify and follow up on possible issues of concern.

So far, SPRING has investigated about 20 cases and addressed the safety concerns proactively before any harm could be caused.

SPRING said with over 15,000 categories of products, as well as new products and innovations emerging continually, it is important to keep abreast of issues and developments worldwide.

It scans local and overseas information resources to keep tabs on hazards and detect unsafe goods.

It also maintains close ties with overseas regulators to share information on consumer product safety.

To complement the preventive actions, SPRING conducts regular surveillance and tests to detect unsafe products and remove them from the market.

To date, 550 products, mainly toys, have been tested; 90 spot-checks were conducted and 80 stop-sale advisories have been issued to suppliers and retailers.

In July 2011, SPRING conducted a random sampling check and tested 200 toys. Twenty per cent of the toys failed the tests.

A second round of tests carried out in December on another 200 toys showed a 4 per cent decline in non-compliance.

In the latest round of checks, conducted from March to April 2012, SPRING randomly selected and tested 111 samples of children's jewellery and accessories.

Three items failed the tests, as the lead content exceeded the level allowed. SPRING issued two stop-sale notices for the three failed products.

Executive director of CASE, Mr Seah Seng Choon, said: "We are pleased that we have achieved progress in enhancing the safety of consumer products in Singapore. We urge businesses to be mindful of safety when they bring products into Singapore.

"We are also glad that SPRING is progressively checking on products to ensure the safety of consumers."

View the original article here

Source From Channel news Asia

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