The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing today that four Los Angeles-area businesses and six individuals must pay $100,000 in civil penalties for allegedly importing and selling dangerous children's toys. The firms and their owners, which are Lucky Toys Inc. (Julia Ko and Steve Thai), Union Import Inc. (Simon Ko), Rita Chin (owner of the now-defunct Kool Imports Inc.), 333 Imports Inc. (Harry Chin), and Seven Stars Toys Imports Inc. (Ivan Ko), have been enjoined from violating CPSC's toy regulations and must comply with an injunction mandating that the companies' toys are tested before importation.
The Complaint alleged that between 1997 and 2002 these firms imported 47 separate types of toys (totaling over 350,000 units) which had small parts in violation of CPSC regulations. To protect children under three years of age from choking, aspiration, or ingestion hazards, federal law prohibits toys from having small parts. Examples of the violative toys include baby dolls, frogs, phones, cars, airplanes, and bath sets.
CPSC informed the companies and their owners/presidents on numerous occasions that their imports were illegal and dangerous. Through the inspection and detective work of CPSC and the U.S. Customs Service, most of these toys were seized at the Port of Long Beach before they could reach store shelves.
The settlement requires the firms to abide by the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), including the FHSA provisions for children's toys. The companies must ensure that independent age grading and small-parts testing are conducted prior to importation, if the toys are age-graded for children under three years of age.
The Department of Justice's Office of Consumer Litigation and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles handled this case on CPSC's behalf.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
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