Commission Partners with CBP to Announce U.S. Port Surveillance and Seizure Reports for 2012

CPSC Issues Annual Toy Report; Toy Recalls Show Continued Decline

November 29, 2012 | The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today the progress that has been made in its collaborative partnership to monitor the flow of safe consumer goods into the United States.

“Proactive port surveillance, strong toy standards, and educational efforts create a safer holiday toy shopping experience for consumers by keeping dangerous products off store shelves,” stated CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Ultimately our goal is to protect our most vulnerable population – kids – and keep them safe this holiday season.”

According to the CPSC, more than two million children’s products were seized by government inspectors at U.S. ports in 2012; the seized goods were found to be non-compliant with mandatory federal safety standards.

“We support the CPSC’s efforts to catch faulty products at the ports before they find their way into consumers’ homes,” said Carter Keithley, president of the Toy Industry Association (TIA). “Working alongside government agencies, TIA and its members remain committed to assuring that toys are safe and comply with strict federal safety standards at every step in the supply chain – from design through to delivery. It is for this reason that toys today are safer than ever before and recalls are lower than they have been in many years.”

According to the CPSC, toy recalls have showed continued decline since 2008:  172 recalls in fiscal year 2008, 50 recalls in 2009, and 46 recalls in 2010.  In its report of fiscal year 2012, however, CPSC noted 38 toy recalls, versus 34 in 2011.

Based on a review of CPSC’s public data by TIA staff, however, it appears that only 18 toy recalls were publicly announced in fiscal year 2012. TIA has contacted the CPSC for clarification on this discrepancy and will keep members apprised of any developments.

Also announced was the Commission’s 2011 Toy Safety Report that tracks toy-related incidents, injuries and deaths.

“The toy industry works year round to ensure the highest level of product safety. Unfortunately, most injuries are the result of misusing a toy in a way that was not intended,” said Joan Lawrence, TIA vice president of safety standards and government affairs.

In its announcements, the Commission offered several toy safety tips for parents.   Similar tips can be found in a TIA-produced video posted to ToyInfo.org (and YouTube) in which Joan Lawrence takes a tour of Toys”R”Us in Times Square to review some simple points families can follow when selecting toys for the children on their lists this holiday season.    

“Protecting the safety of children is a shared responsibility,” added Lawrence. “Parents and toy shoppers should always select age-appropriate toys for their children and loved ones, and be vigilant while supervising children at play. Small parts, balloons, high-powered magnets and toys intended for older kids and adults should always be kept out of the hands of young children.”

Additional toy safety guidance and information on toy recalls can be found online at ToyInfo.org – TIA’s year-round resource for parents and other caregivers.