The American Chamber of Commerce in South China

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Press Conference of Consumer Safety Assurance Committee & Media Appreciation Luncheon

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AmCham South China leads China-wide, multinational push to standardize Consumer Safety practice
In tight times, efficiency and confidence are vital to trade
GUANGZHOU, People’s Republic of China – December 17, 2008 – The American Chamber of Commerce today announced the successful first meeting of its new, national-level Consumer Safety Assurance Committee on December 9. The Committee’s members include senior leaders from across China representing U.S., European, Chinese and other multinational companies, as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Committee is additionally already working with representatives of the various regulatory bodies of the Chinese government.
“In a time of economic slowdown, we need to be proactive in ensuring the safety and integrity of products in the most efficient way possible,” said AmCham South China President Harley Seyedin. “In this first meeting, the Committee defined its top priority as working toward the authorization of independent, third-party testing organizations to inspect and certify goods as conforming to safety standards on behalf of the FDA and hopefully other regulatory bodies. This will help companies to expedite the delivery of goods to the U.S. and other international markets, avoid hold-ups for inspection in customs, and will promote the free and efficient flow of trade while maintaining the high standards for safety utilized by our governments.”
The national-level, multi-party and multinational Consumer Safety Assurance Committee was formed at the request U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt, whose Department includes the Food and Drug Administration, after a discussion with Mr. Seyedin during the Secretary’s visit to Guangzhou this past November. The committee will be based in Guangzhou and will work jointly with a similar working group organized by the European Union Chamber of Commerce. Hearings are planned throughout China in order to access the widest breadth of expertise, and will likely include participation by The American Chambers of Commerce in Shanghai, Beijing and elsewhere, who have been invited to send representatives to participate.
Mission Statement of the AmCham South China Consumer Safety Assurance Committee
We have assembled this national Committee on Consumer Safety Assurance to address a situation in which goods are by necessity inspected and/or certified by multiple parties according to multiple, divergent standards to the detriment of the efficient flow of trade. This committee, consisting of top executives from across China representing a wide range of corporations from the U.S., Europe, China and elsewhere and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will work directly with the myriad organizations tasked with product safety within China to pursue the most promising immediate and long-term improvements to process so as to ensure the safety and integrity of consumer goods across borders and across supply chains in the most efficient ways possible by:
1.    Providing a platform for frank, multilateral discussion and the exchange of expertise between Committee members of high rank from industry and the relevant government agencies of the United States, China and the European Union;
2.    Working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and relevant regulatory bodies in China and the E.U. to establish sufficient confidence in the implementation of internationally-viable independent, third-party testing and certification of the safety of goods in proxy for those regulatory agencies so as to circumvent the immediate and substantial backlog for inspection at points of exit and entry;
3.    Examining opportunities for eliminating other systemic inefficiencies that act as barriers to the free and open flow of goods across national borders, while ensuring the safety and integrity of the same.
It is our firm conviction that in pursuing these goals we are providing service not only to our respective organizations and governments, but future prosperity of every national economy and the consumers constitute them.

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