26 November 2007

China cleans up its toy mess

China has made "considerable progress" in cracking down on exports of dangerous toys, the European Commission said.

China has made "considerable progress" in cracking down on exports of dangerous toys, the European Commission said after threatening a ban following waves of mass recalls.

With the key Christmas holiday season rapidly approaching, the European Union's executive arm had called on Chinese authorities to provide evidence that they were tackling the problem of unsafe toys.

In its analysis of Beijing's response, the Commission found "considerable progress by the Chinese authorities in taking corrective actions to stop the flow of dangerous goods onto the European market."

Millions of toys recalled
Tens of millions of Chinese-made toys have been recalled in recent months over concerns that they could be dangerous, in what has fast become a new flash point in trade relations between the Asian economic giant and Europe and the United States.

In September, the Commission raised the prospect of using bans if Chinese authorities failed to provide sufficient evidence that they were cracking down on the problem.

Amid growing public concern about dangerous toys from China, the Commission launched a broad stock-taking of its tools for detecting products deemed to be unsafe.

"In this world you cannot give 100 percent guarantees," EU Consumer Policy Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said. "But you can make sure the system is fit for purpose."

"I can assure you 100 percent of my commitment to keep the pressure on to ensure the highest possible level of safety for our citizens," she added.

Concerns about Chinese-made toys have loomed large over the review with nearly half the dangerous consumer products detected by European authorities coming from China.

However, Brussels said that China had rapidly stepped up the number of investigations it has carried out on tip-offs from the EU, with 184 probes from July to September, up sharply from only 84 in the previous 12 months. – (Sapa)

Read more:
Millions of toys recalled
Toys with lead recalled




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