In January 2011, the CPSC established, in Beijing, its first-ever foreign office. The Beijing Office has two professional staff members - a Regional Product Safety Officer (RPSO) and a locally hired Regional Product Safety Specialist (RPSS). The office operates within the U.S. Embassy structure. It is engaged primarily in education, information sharing, and project-specific activities with public and private sector officials in Asia who are involved in ensuring the safety of consumer products exported to the United States.
In recent years, the CPSC’s Beijing Office provided face-to-face briefings and training presentations to public and private sector officials in China, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, and Vietnam who are engaged in product safety issues.
China remains the dominant exporter of consumer products to the United States. If trends from the past 10 years hold, China will continue to export more consumer products that fall under the CPSC’s jurisdiction to the United States than all other countries combined. In addition, manufacturing firms in China produce almost 90% of toys purchased in the United States, along with a large proportion of other higher-risk children’s products such as clothing, cribs and nursery products. The Beijing Office therefore focuses approximately two-thirds of its attention on China.
The Beijing Office undertakes substantial efforts to boost the CPSC’s day-to-day interaction with China’s General Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ). An important government ministry headquartered in Beijing, the AQSIQ employs thousands of individuals throughout China who work to ensure that China’s imports and exports comply with product safety rules. Chinese goods continue to account for over half of total CPSC-announced product recalls - and an even greater proportion of recalls of children’s products. This amplifies the importance of the Beijing Office’s work with AQSIQ and its provincial and municipal branch offices.
Outside China, the Beijing Office has enabled the CPSC to significantly expand its education and outreach efforts in East Asia and Pacific Region. Through in-person meetings, the Beijing Office helps advance important relationships and boost the agency’s education, outreach and intergovernmental cooperation efforts in the region.
The Beijing Office will seek to further boost the CPSC’s cooperation in future years with regulators, industry associations and manufacturers, both inside and outside of China and the East Asia and Pacific Region.