- Pressemitteilung BoxID 69429
TTT-Workshop for Toy retailers and manufacturers, September 30th, 2008
The US-Market / Differences to the European Market, export marketing, product liability, safety aspects
The workshop took place in the premises of VEDES in Nürnberg.
Well known authors approached the theme from many aspects and initiated the audience to intensive discussions.
Jürgen May, Modern Testing Services Germany (Augsburg) and member of the TTE Board, moderated clearly and skillfully the well frequented seminar.
He introduced the attendants in a very comprehensive way into the legal fundements of the US market in regard to the regulations of the Consumer Protection Safety Committee CPSC. He especially mentioned the differences between the American safety standard ASTM F963 and the European standard EN 71.
Jürgen May pointed out that like in Germany where further legal regulations such as the "Bedarfsgegenstände- und Chemikalienverbotsordnung" should be observed, the Pennsylvania Regulation, Californian Proposition 65 and the phthalate bans of certain US Federal States, also belong to the US safety requirements.
Dr. Heidi Hummel reported about the Art & Creative Materials Institute ACMI as a non-profit association of manufacturers of art, craft and other creative materials. Their consulting toxicology team review the complete formulas of products in their certification program. When products certified as non-toxic by ACMI, the AP (Approved Product) seal can be awarded. However, a toxicological evaluation by a medical expert is necessary that no materials are toxic or injurious to human beings, including children, or cause acute or chronic health problems.
Dr. Hummel made also clear that such products certified by ACMI should also be labelled according to the chronic hazard labelling standard, ASTM D 4236, and the U. S. Labelling of Hazardous Art Materials Act (LHAMA).
Christoph Clément, representative of the Phönix AG, presented the distribution and marketing system in US by showing that big size retail chains impact in a significant way the US-market and compared to Europe where the specialised trade still has its traditional place. In both areas the internet and logistics are growing to intensify the contact to the consumers and the local dealers. Christoph Clément pointed out that there is a better relation in the US between product design and the responsibility of the supplier.
Peter Dorscht, legal advisor and lawyer, gave a very comprehensive picture of the product liability in the US. He explained the courts system under the Constitution and Laws of the Federal Government of the United States. In the US, claims are mostly associated with strict liability, breach of warranty and various consumer protection claims. The claims must be followed even when products were incorrectly used by the consumer, as long as the incorrect use was foreseeable by the manufacturer. Compensatory damages, also called actual damages, have to be paid to the claimant for loss, injury, or harm suffered by another's breach of duty. Peter Dorscht recommended a liability insurance as a part of a general insurance system of risk financing, and said that a good contact with CPSC might be very helpful.
The following discussion showed that the audience was very much interested in this topic. The professional atmosphere was well appreciated and the organisation of further workshops arranged by TTT was suggested.
A possible theme to be approached could be the update of the Toy Safety Directive and the REACH Regulation. It was promised to organise also workshops in English for all the European members.
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