SEPTEMBER 27, 2011
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada, and the Consumer Protection Federal Agency of the United Mexican States (Profeco) (“the Parties”) share a common goal of achieving the highest level of safety for consumers throughout North America. Products produced in North America, or imported from outside our territories, may readily find their way into each other’s jurisdictions through our extensive shared borders.
The increasing volume of world trade and the complexity of global supply chains require cooperation among consumer product safety authorities to promote a global culture of safety for those who provide consumer products, to work together in the oversight of product supply chains that cross international borders, and to enable timely response by industry and governments to emerging product safety issues. Governments and industry must also cooperate in engaging consumers, who play the final critical role of safely choosing, using, and disposing of products.
It is in the mutual interest of the Parties to this Joint Statement to work in close cooperation. This Statement expresses our consensus covering a range of issues while acknowledging a Party may have limited or no authority on all of the issues. Notwithstanding our different national systems for promoting consumer product safety, we believe that to the extent that consumer product safety authorities share common messages, practices, and product safety requirements, we can increase our effectiveness protecting our consumers against unreasonable risk of injury from consumer products.
As a result of this First North America Consumer Product Safety Summit, the Consumer Product Safety Commission of the United States of America (U.S. CPSC), the Federal Consumer Protection Agency of the United States of Mexico (Profeco), and Health Canada have reached an understanding on actions necessary to strengthen our trilateral cooperation. In a spirit of cooperation, respect for sovereignty and the limits of domestic laws, and concern for the safety of our consumers, the Parties acknowledge the following:
- The increasing share of global consumer products coming from other countries into our markets and the high levels of trade and connectivity in North America require closer trilateral cooperation to address more effectively our common product safety issues and challenges.
- Continuous improvement in training and quality assurance systems at all stages of supply and distribution chains is essential to ensuring a high level of product safety and should be encouraged by cooperative activities among the Parties.
- Enhanced cooperation to solve product safety issues can make significant contributions to the protection of consumer health and safety in our markets directly, as well as indirectly, by helping to increase product safety efforts in other countries.
- Promoting the alignment of product safety requirements at a high level of safety may result in improved consumer confidence, regulatory and economic efficiencies, and other benefits to stakeholders.
- Timely and effective communication of certain product safety information, such as port and market surveillance findings, testing methodologies, evidence of emerging hazards, and rulemaking activities can help us achieve mutual goals.
- Given our shared markets, cooperative enforcement efforts are essential.
Cooperative Engagement Framework
In light of this understanding, the Parties have constructed a Cooperative Engagement Framework under which we foresee that specific work will be undertaken during the next two years. Technical staff intends to engage bilaterally or trilaterally, as appropriate and in accordance with capabilities, in the following activities:
- consultation on proposed regulations and voluntary standards;
- cooperation on risk assessment;
- cooperation on import and market surveillance;
- cooperation on training and outreach within and outside North America;
- coordinated consumer awareness campaigns; and
- consultation on potential joint recalls or other corrective actions.
While the Parties recognize that the level, intensity, and mechanisms of cooperative engagement in these above-outlined activities will be subject to domestic priorities, statutory limitations, and the availability of resources, we are committed to engagement and progress to the benefit of our consumers. It is our hope that work informed and inspired by this First North America Consumer Product Safety Summit will result in safer products for our consumers today and for future generations.