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OECD Working Group Will Strengthen Consumer Product Safety Information Sharing


New York, Jul 21, 2010

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has created a working group on consumer product safety that will advance an ambitious program to improve information sharing and promote greater cooperation among enforcement authorities worldwide. The OECD, headquartered in Paris, is an international forum that provides a setting for countries committed to democracy and the market economy to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identifying good practices, and coordinate domestic and international policies.

The working group will tackle a ten-point action plan, including short-term, medium-term, and long-term actions to promote consumer product safety both nationally and internationally. The first initiative of the working group is to create a global recalls database that will assist regulators worldwide in identifying issues at an early stage.

Longer-term goals include reaching an agreement on format for injury data collection, developing confidentiality protocol for sharing research information, and enhancing international cooperation on traceability.

“A number of high profile recalls worldwide have focused attention on safety problems and their global nature,” said Michael Jenkin, chairman of the OECD’s Committee on Consumer Policy. “The Committee on Consumer Policy reacted quickly, bringing key players to the table to explore the scope of the problem and ways to address concerns. We concluded that more openness in sharing information on unsafe products is much needed and that the OECD provided a good forum for advancing this work. The working group was created with this in mind.”

The OECD has also released a Report on Enhancing Information Sharing on Consumer Product Safety. The 32-page report examines ways that information sharing on consumer product safety could be enhanced internationally in five parts: types of information that are being compiled on product safety issues; the comparability of information being collected; current information-sharing arrangements; how the current information-sharing efforts could be strengthened; and specific proposals that could be considered in the short, medium, and long terms.

For more information on the new working group, see the OECD press release.

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