EU and US team up on Chinese toys

16/04/2008

The EU and the United States have agreed to work closely to persuade Chinese toy-makers to improve the safety of their products.

Millions of Chinese-made toys were recalled in 2007 after safety concerns about lead paint or detachable magnets.

EU commissioner Meglena Kuneva said, after talks with her US counterpart, Nancy Nord, that the world's two major economies had to speak with one voice. "We are pro-open markets, [but] not compromising on safety," she said.

China has pledged to step up the way it monitors products.

Ms Nord, chair of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, said she wanted the EU to agree to a global set of product safety standards. Bringing the two systems together would be "for the benefit of consumers; it is certainly for the benefit of product manufacturers", she said. Currently, the EU uses a CE mark but European consumer groups have called for a stricter standard awarded by an independent regulator. The two officials, who plan to visit Beijing this year, also agreed to co-operate on recalling products considered to be unsafe.

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