CPSC pilot risk assessment strengthens import safety

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) credits a state-of-the-art risk assessment tool with reducing the importation of more than six million potentially dangerous products into the U.S. during a six month pilot program conducted in 2013.

According to the CPSC, its risk assessment method (RAM) pilot targeting system involved an analysis of data provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for shipments of consumer products destined for U.S. ports of entry. This analysis allowed CPSC inspectors to identify in advance shipments that might contain high-risk products, thereby facilitating decisions about which shipments to inspect upon arrival.

The CPSC says that the pilot targeting program, which ran from October 2012 through March 2013, screened more than 12,000 different import shipments, and ultimately identified 678 shipments containing defective or potentially harmful products. Importantly, 588 (87%) of the shipments included children’s products, such as toy baby bottles, amounting to more than 1.2 million units. More than half (57%) of the children’s product intercepted by the CPSC violated lead paint or lead content requirements.

Aside from preventing unsafe products from reaching consumers, the CPSC says that the pilot program also reduced costly product recalls by manufacturers and importers.

The CPSC expects that the success of the RAM pilot targeting system will help ensure funding to expand the program in the future.

Read additional details about the CPSC’s rish assessment method (RAM) pilot targeting efforts.