Organized by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Customs and Border Protection, the conference laid the foundation for continued interagency collaboration on import safety. Participants included senior leaders from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; Consumer Product Safety Commission; Food and Drug Administration; Food Safety and Inspection Service; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; National Marine Fisheries Service; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Among other measures, agency leaders agreed to enhance efforts to help the private sector comply with import safety requirements, use risk-management strategies to streamline lawful trade, and adhere to consistent enforcement measures to deter imports of unsafe products.
From consumers to sellers to regulators, Americans rely on standards and conformity assessment to enhance confidence in goods and services. In its ongoing effort to safeguard U.S. consumer health and safety and the environment, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is actively engaged in several initiatives to support the safety of goods entering the U.S. market:
ANSI-Homeland Security Standards Panel
Now in its ninth year, the ANSI Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP) will reconvene on November 9-10 to advance strategic approaches to supply chain security and related issues. The ANSI-HSSP provides the unique opportunity for standards developers, federal agencies, and members of the homeland security, emergency preparedness, and business continuity community to address current security challenges. With an eye toward identifying areas where standards may be needed, the ANSI-HSSP will consider relevant standards activities underway within the United States and Europe. Issues to be discussed include land, sea, and air cargo container security, the use of radio frequency identification (RFID), asset tracking, and security labels.
Anti-Counterfeiting and Conformity Assessment Workshops
As part of its annual World Standards Week 2010 events in Arlington, VA, ANSI hosted two conferences geared toward strengthening the security of goods and services entering the market.
Aimed at defining proactive steps for the public and private sectors to take in counteracting the effects of counterfeiting on consumer safety and the U.S. economy, Crossing Borders and Sectors: Exploring Robust Anti-Counterfeiting Solutions examined counterfeiting issues related to consumer goods, food ingredients and pharmaceuticals, aerospace electronics, and intellectual property rights. Experts from government, industry, international law enforcement, and academia led attendees through an open dialogue to determine solutions that will address consumer health and safety concerns and reduce the economic impact of counterfeiting. ANSI is now compiling these and other key findings into a "best practices" action guide that will provide organizations with concrete steps to assess and address counterfeiting across industry sectors.
Advancing American Competitiveness through Conformity Assessment: Legal Issues and Best Practices showcased the myriad conformity assessment activities - testing, inspection, certification, accreditation, and other verification methods - that are in place to assure the security of the global supply chain for food and consumer products.
ANSI Top Issues Portal
A centralized resource for emerging issues facing the standardization and conformance community, the ANSI Top Issues Portal contains a library of activities supporting global supply chain security and five other key areas: energy, sustainability, horizontal considerations, technology, and workforce standardization. The section devoted to supply chain security contains the latest information on chemical regulations, with more information on food, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products to come. Additional information on the portal is available at www.ansi.org/topissues.