FENTON ATTENDS INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT ON PRODUCT SAFETY
QCA’s executive director of compliance represented the promotional products industry at the 3rd Biennial United States – China Consumer Product Safety Summit.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (November 13, 2009) – D E Fenton, executive director of compliance for the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), 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 – 26, in 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 bi-lateral,” says 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.
“The opportunity to join other organizations who are effectively addressing product safety in their respective industries was both an honor and a compliment of what we have accomplished in building QCA’s accreditation program,” she says. “Talking about the issues that come up in developing the processes necessary to deliver safe products and how to deal with them in a best practice format is essential for all those involved in manufacturing to move forward with confidence in meeting the changing regulatory environment.
Chicago, Illinois-based Quality Certification Alliance is an independent, accreditation organization whose mission is to elevate the standards by which industry firms that import and/or manufacture promotional products provide consistently safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise. The QCA Seal of Approval is granted to member companies who complete an independent third-party audit and comply with stringent standards, which are based upon a combination of state and national laws, international standards and industry-accepted best practices that are recognized for their strength and effectiveness by QCA members, the promotional products industry and the end-user clients.
QCA was formed in July 2008 by 14 companies that import and/or manufacturer promotional products: Avaline; Barton Nelson, Inc.; BDA Inc.; Broder Bros.; Dard Products, Inc.; Fanda Enterprises, Inc.; Gemline; Gordon Industries, Ltd.; Leed’s; Litehouse Custom Printing, Inc.; Logomark, Inc.; MMI International Trade; Prime Resources, Corp.; and Sweda Company, LLC. D E (Denise) Fenton serves as executive director – compliance, and Brent Stone serves as executive director – operations.
For more information, visit www.qcalliance.org.
Lisa Horn, CAS