Monday February 08, 2021
Direct Shipments Need Attention Too, Kaye Asserts
Commissioner Elliot Kaye February 2 called for more attention to direct-to-consumer imports. His views came in a statement (bit.ly/2YHs5RC) that otherwise praised the commission's late December approval (PSL, 1/4/21) of CPSC staff's plan to move towards an imports e-filing "beta" pilot. That project targets the larger shipments that make up traditional importing.
However, smaller, direct deliveries are an expanding part of such activity due to the growth of e-commerce, he noted, referring to a 2019 CPSC report (bit.ly/3cyJ9RX) that suggested e-commerce shipments will account for 57% of the volume of CPSC regulated imports by 2023. He asserted:
"This change in the manner of import is not a mere nuisance for us in how we seek to protect consumers…The CPSC must act now so that we will not be blind to such a substantial percentage of consumer products entering the U.S. That would be an alarming and unacceptable development."
The "beta" pilot is expected to run into 2025 and is a follow up to the "alpha" agency staffers ran in 2017.
Customs and Border Protection has concerns about small shipments of counterfeits, which may or may not be safety risks. Last fall (PSL, 11/2/20), the Government Accountability Office said work is needed and that EU approaches might be models. However, GAO also acknowledged:
"EU and U.S. officials said the large volume of small packages makes it difficult for customs agencies to prioritize resources among competing needs such as drug enforcement and security. EU and U.S. officials also reported that a lack of adequate data on these packages is a challenge in taking enforcement action against them."
Meanwhile, a year ago (PSL, 2/10/20), an executive order directed Customs and the U.S. Postal Service to look at outdated shipping exceptions related to the problem.