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ANSI Launches Accreditation Process to Enhance Toy Safety in U.S.

Certification Bodies Invited to Apply for Toy Safety Certification Program

New York, Jun 15, 2009

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, began accepting applications today for certification bodies seeking accreditation according to requirements defined under the new Toy Industry Association (TIA) Toy Safety Certification ProgramSM. The TSCPSM was created to improve toy safety, help restore stakeholder confidence in toy products, and comply with new federal legislation that toys be tested by a qualified lab and certified that they meet rigorous national safety standards and regulations.

Under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in September 2008, ANSI was named as the official third-party accreditor of TSCP’s product certification bodies. Its assessment of the competence of these bodies will be based on the requirements in the International Standard ISO/IEC Guide 65, General Requirements for Bodies Operating Product Certification Systems, the associated International Accreditation Forum (IAF) Guidance Document, and program requirements for the TSCP. The program builds on the requirements of the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and goes even further to help assure the safety of toys entering the U.S. marketplace.

Development of the TSCP began in August 2007 when TIA engaged ANSI to coordinate a public-private partnership to develop conformity assessment guidance regarding toy safety. The resulting program has included and will continue to integrate input from U.S. government bodies, consumer groups, toy companies, retailers, toy testing labs, and factory auditing companies as well as officials and industry representatives from China and the European Union.

“The ANSI-TIA partnership has been instrumental to the successful development and launch of the Toy Safety Certification Program,” said Elizabeth Borrelli, TSCP executive director. “ANSI’s global recognition as a neutral, third-party accreditation body lends credibility, strength, and rigor to a system that has been designed to identify and remedy potential problems before a toy enters the supply chain.”

ANSI administers more than 30 distinct product accreditation program scopes — ranging from appliances and bottled water to plumbing products and fresh produce. Via the Institute’s involvement in several international and regional agreements, many ANSI-accredited certification programs are recognized as equally reliable to commensurate programs around the world.

“We are pleased to partner with TIA and play an ongoing role in the development and implementation of programs that help to keep our children safe,” said Lane Hallenbeck, vice president for accreditation services at ANSI. “The TSCP marks a significant step forward assuring integrity and consistency in toy safety certification. We look forward to adding value as a globally recognized, impartial third-party accreditor.”

Additional information about the Toy Safety Certification ProgramSM can be found at www.toycertification.org. Information about the ANSI accreditation process can be found online at www.ansi.org/tscp. To learn more about the requirements or to obtain an application, please contact Reinaldo Figueiredo, ANSI senior program director (rfigueir@ansi.org; 202.331.3611), or Nikki Jackson, ANSI program manager (njackson@ansi.org; 202.331.3623).

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