ICPHSO Report / December 2015
Successful 2015 International Symposium
ICPHSO Built Toward Greater Alignment in Product Safety and Focused on New Technologies at the ICPHSO 2015 International Symposium In Billlund, Denmark
On 20– 21 October the ICPHSO 2015 International Symposium was successfully held in Billund, Denmark at the headquarters of the LEGO Group. As a truly international event it drew around 180 attendees from government regulators, standard developers, manufacturers, retailers, industry associations, test labs, consumer organizations, academia and professional advisors from around the world.
The overall theme of the Symposium was “Building Toward Greater Alignment in Product Safety” and keynote speakers Patricia Adkins, Executive Director, US Consumer Product Safety Commission; and Despina Spanou, Director for Consumers, DG Justice and Consumers, European Commission, set the scene during their opening addresses. Their key priorities as international regulators in the product safety arena were identified as follows:
- encouraging innovation while ensuring the highest levels of product safety
- collaborating at an international level on product safety issues, and
- monitoring the online marketplace to consistently achieve the highest levels of product safety.
These themes were recurrent throughout the sym- posium which focused on the emergence of new technologies including wearable technology, 3D printing and LED lighting and nanotechnology as well as topics in relation to alignment of product safety enforcement, child safety best practices, product traceability and risk assessment.
The unique challenges faced by companies and regulators when innovative products are placed on the market were explored, including:
- that new technologies present new hazards and risks
- the lack of regulation applicable to new technology
- how regulators and standard developers approach the development of legislation/standards when new technologies emerge.
Meanwhile, Jeff Weiss, Senior Advisor for Standards and Global Regulatory Policy Office of the Secretary, US Department of Commerce, spoke about the nexus between trade and product safety in the digital economy and touched on new developments in the US regarding product compliance.
With the emergence of new technologies, the importance of effectively capturing injury data is greater than ever. In her keynote address, Christel Schaldemose, a Danish Member of the European Parliament, spoke of the Parliament’s commitment to have included in the new EU legislation on product safety, an obligation to create and maintain a pan- European Injuries database.
The new world, and the new digital economy, require all stakeholders to rethink the normal, usual or accepted way of doing things. The regulatory land- scape needs to adapt, and this was summed up by Despina Spanou, when she said there is a need to ‘future-proof legislation’. We hope to see an approach to regulation and product safety in the coming years which facilitates both innovation and consumer confidence.
We expect that the discussion on these themes will continue, at the ICPHSO 2016 Annual Meeting & Training Symposium to be held in Washington, DC, 29 February to 3 March 2016
For further details on this event visit: http://www.icphso.org/events