CPSC Acting Chairman Buerkle Keynotes the Annual Toy Safety & Compliance Update at Toy Fair New York

February 18, 2019 | Several hundred Toy Fair attendees filled the room at The Toy Association’s annual “Toy Safety & Compliance Update” on Monday inside the Javits Center.

Led by the Association’s external affairs team, the three-hour seminar provided manufacturers, retailers, toy inventors, testing labs, and other attendees with news and developments related to toy safety laws and other issues impacting the toy industry in the U.S. and abroad, and introduced two new services exclusively for members.

In his opening remarks, Toy Association President and CEO Steve Pasierb announced a new Safety Education Program and an International Regulatory Database of the standards and requirements applicable to toys in major consumer markets around the world.

During the session’s keynote address, Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), gave an update to how CPSC was affected by the government shutdown and shared key 2019 priorities by the agency. She also thanked The Toy Association for its continuous pro-active efforts to ensure toys are safe and applauded the Association for the new safety initiatives.

“I was very pleased to hear about The Toy Association's two new safety-related initiatives,” Buerkle said. “The Toy Association has always been a leader in the area of toy safety. Your proactive steps to guide and educate the regulated community with a comprehensive toy safety education program, as well as the International Regulatory Database are additional examples of The Toy Association's ongoing commitment to safety."

Following Commissioner Buerkle, Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs, welcomed to the podium CPSC Commissioner Peter Feldman. Commissioner Feldman, who joined the CPSC last October, was attending his first Toy Fair and used the occasion to introduce himself to the seminar attendees and talk about his initial months at the agency.

The session continued with Rebecca Mond, vice president of federal government affairs, and Meaghan Kent, a partner at Venable, who provided an overview of The Toy Association’s white paper, “The Real Threat of Fake Toys: The Increase of Knockoff and Counterfeit Toys Sold Online and How to Fight Back.” Mond also provided an update to attendees on tariffs related to Chinese imports, and shared highlights from a special fly-in co-hosted by the Americans for Free Trade Coalition and the Association earlier this month.

Leigh Moyers, senior manager of federal government affairs, and Sheila Millar, a partner at Keller and Heckman LLP, addressed connected toys and intellectual property, while Jennifer Gibbons, vice president of state government affairs, shared important state legislative issues being tracked by The Toy Association.

Al Kaufman, the Association’s senior vice president of technical affairs, and Christian Wetterberg, LEGO Group’s senior director and global head of product safety and compliance, closed the session’s formal presentation with an update to critical U.S., EU, and global toy safety standards, including ASTM F963 – Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. The session ended with a question-and-answer period.

The seminar was open to all Toy Fair participants. A recording and slides of the presentation will be available on The Toy Association website in the coming days.