Agency heads and other senior leaders from 10 federal agencies met today [October 21] at the Interagency Import Safety Conference to focus on efforts to protect the health and safety of the American consumer and the environment from unsafe imports.
Participants included executives from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Food and Drug Administration; the Food Safety and Inspection Service; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; the National Marine Fisheries Service and Department of Homeland Security agencies U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The agency leaders affirmed their commitment to import safety by agreeing to six key principles of import safety, providing a foundation for further collaboration and cooperation among the agencies charged with protecting American consumers from unsafe imports. The principles call for:
1. The creation of an interagency forum of senior representatives dedicated to import safety cooperation;
2. Continued commitment to information sharing across federal agencies involved in import safety concerns;
3. Enhanced efforts to help the private sector comply with import safety requirements;
4. Development of common systems to exchange information;
5. Strong, consistent enforcement measures to deter imports of unsafe products; and
6. The use of risk-management strategies to streamline lawful trade.
In addition to discussing the principles, participating agencies agreed to an interagency memorandum of understanding which will improve targeting and enforcement efforts at the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center, a fusion center for agencies to share targeting resources, analysis and expertise to achieve the common mission of protecting American consumers from unsafe imports.