Product Safety and Federal Regulations

In a free market when consumers are free to choose between any type of products and brands, there are endless choice options for both suppliers and consumers alike. With this liberty, many companies are turning to overseas to outsource their manufacturing needs in order to benefit from the many advantages that outsourced manufacturing provides. If your organization is considering outsourcing or is already in the process of transitioning manufacturing efforts offshore, having robust product safety testing is crucial to your investments because of the differences that accompany international commerce.

Businesses that move their production abroad will immediately benefit in many ways. Cost of production is lowered, production time is saved and increased production rates are just a few of the benefits to be realized by outsourcing manufacturing overseas. However, because some countries are not required to comply with U.S. federal laws that regulate domestic manufacturing, it is important to make every effort to ensure that your products are compliant with federal law. Even a small oversight can lead to human error that can affect your organization’s reputation. Because of distance and other factors, minor mistakes will be inevitable, but testing products for safety will remove liability from your business and help drastically reduce the minor errors that may occur.

Federal Laws and Regulations

Once you are paired with an experienced, trusted and reliable partner to help facilitate both your overseas manufacturing efforts and assist you in establishing a robust product safety testing method, you should become as familiar as possible with federal law compliance. General-use products will require safety testing even when produced domestically. Enforced by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), federal regulations and rules apply to manufacturers in addition to importers. The CPSC will respond to blatant violations through product recalls and, in extreme cases, recall lawsuits.

Import Surveillance on Manufactured Products

Importers, specifically, will have their incoming shipments examined through a special unit, the Office of Import Surveillance. This unit works in tandem with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to inspect incoming shipments from exporters around the globe. It is strongly recommended to have a third party test any incoming products for federal safety and compliance in order to avoid having them flagged and rendered “unfit for sale” domestically.

The Importance of Children’s Safety

Perhaps the most important element with regards to product safety is child safety – an important item that requires much more vigilant monitoring. Products that are harmless when used by adults can be fatal in the hands of a small child. Traumatic and even fatal accidents are sometimes caused through small parts that lead to choking, sharp objects that can inflict woulds, and certain coatings that can be toxic and lead to illness in young children. Preventing tragic accidents should be paramount with regards to any sort of product safety testing dealing with children’s items.

For these reasons, federal laws require importers to hire a third party to conduct tests on all products meant for children. This party must ensure that each product complies with every safety regulation applicable to children. After an initial test, a material test is also done in case any changes have been made to the product. Once both are compliant, the party certifies a Children’s Product Certificate. Periodic testing is usually done up to once a year to ensure safety consistency.

Customer Satisfaction through Product Safety

Apart from compliance with federal regulations, it is equally imperative to protect your business from negative customer reviews. Any review (positive and negative) can influence future sales when potential consumers vet your business online. By putting a priority on product safety and establishing reliable product safety testing methods, you can help curb negative reviews before they start. Working with third parties to help inspect and test products can help maintain consistence in quality also.

In any overseas manufacturing endeavor, there are many issues that should be considered including product safety. By partnering with a reliable organization that has a proven history of helping businesses benefit from all of the ways outsourced manufacturing can help, you will ensure that your own product safety methods are properly in place and that the items manufactured are safe for the public.

ITI Manufacturing has both the experience and expertise to help you navigate through the Chinese manufacturing industry, including product safety. Contact ITI Manufacturing today and get started!

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