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Special Focus

CPSC and European Commission Framework for Cooperation

On February 23, 2005, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Directorate-General Health and Consumer Protection of the European Commission (Directorate-General) entered into an agreement that establishes a framework for possibly sharing a variety of product safety-related information in the future.

The Directorate-General is the organization responsible for operating the Rapid Exchange of Information System (RAPEX) created under the European Union's General Product Safety Directive and for promoting cooperation among EU Member States in implementing the Directive.1

Under the agreement with the CPSC, the Directorate-General would liaise with relevant authorities in EU Member States, European Standardization Organizations, and other EC components to facilitate contacts with the CPSC and to facilitate the flow of information between those authorities and CPSC.

The agreement envisions possible future information exchange in the following areas:

  • major recall actions of mutual interest;
  • scientific, technical, and regulatory developments bearing on consumer product safety;
  • specific products and manufacturers, if necessary and permitted under applicable laws;
  • standardization activities and product safety standards assessment;
  • market surveillance and enforcement activities; and
  • risks identified and measures taken with respect to products originating from their respective territories.

The information-sharing framework agreement with the EC is one of several that CPSC has negotiated in recent months with representatives of foreign governments, including Canada, China, Taiwan, and Costa Rica. The CPSC is also presently negotiating memoranda of understanding with Mexico, India, and Chile aimed at exchanging consumer product safety information.


1For more background information on the General Product Safety Directive (Directive 2001/95/EC) and the Product Liability Directive (Directive 85/374/EEC), including how these requirements compare with the U.S. regulatory and liability system, please visit...