OECD work on consumer product safety aims to improve co-operation amongst jurisdictions. The focus of its mandate is on improving information sharing and promoting greater co-operation among product safety market surveillance, enforcement, and regulatory authorities worldwide by:
Identifying safety issues early
Sharing practices and policy law developments
Addressing safety concerns in a consistent way
Supporting global and regional fora
OECD Recommendation on Consumer Product Safety
The Recommendation on Consumer Product Safety, adopted by the OECD Council in July 2020, outlines the key elements that should be at the core of consumer product safety frameworks at domestic and international levels. Notably, it calls for frameworks that:
provide for a consumer right to safe products and rapid alerts when unsafe products are on the market or are the subject of a ban or a recall;
are informed by sound evidence and data sources, including, if possible, through the establishment of injury data collection systems, the development of systematic risk management and assessment approaches that are comparable from one country to another, information sharing activities and awareness initiatives;
pay specific attention to vulnerable consumers.
The Recommendation has a level of built-in flexibility which ensures its continued relevance and applicability across a variety of contexts, including in relation to product safety issues emerging from e-commerce, new technologies, and the COVID-19 crisis.
In recent years, a number of consumer product safety authorities have established product safety pledges with online marketplaces to better protect consumers from the risk of unsafe products on those platforms. This communiqué aims to encourage the development of further such pledges at domestic and regional levels, and to identify the key commitments for inclusion.