China, US, EU to tighten security for internet shoppers

24 Jun '16
2 min read

In the wake of rapid growth of international e-commerce that poses new challenges towards consumer protection and product safety, the US, European Union and China have pledged to increase cooperation to ensure the safety of products sold.

Officials from the three sides said in a statement after the 5th China-US-EU Consumer Product Safety Trilateral Summit in Beijing on Thursday that regulators would closely monitor online sales, especially cross-border e-commerce.

This would include tracking products to their manufacturers and cooperating on recalls if some goods were deemed unsafe, media reports from Beijing said.

The three also pledged to increase communication and share information.

The first product safety meeting between the three sides was held in 2008 after a series of safety scandals involving Chinese-made exports which included contaminated pet food and defective tyres.

The pledge marked the first time that the world's three major economies agreed to “do something concrete”, said US envoy, Elliot F. Kaye, Chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Kaye said the US-Chinese relationship on product safety was close and cooperative, in contrast to disputes in other areas.

More than 2,000 products triggered EU-wide alerts last year of which 62 per cent came from China, EU's largest source of imports.

About 65 per cent of internet users in the EU shop online and regulators are facing greater challenges on how to ensure product safety, said Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, at the press briefing.

Jourova said regulations were needed to effectively protect the rights of online shoppers and help increase their trust in the market. She also stressed the importance of law enforcement and urged China's government to conduct a better overview of supply chains.

The EU has so far filed 11,540 notifications over dangerous products with China through the Rapid Alert System China mechanism that allows both sides to share information about dangerous consumer products in the region. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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