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Friday May 07, 2021

Amazon Floats U.S. Ecommerce Product Safety Pledge to CPSC

Amazon has asked CPSC to consider a product safety pledge for ecommerce sites. It would be akin to those existing in Australia and the EU. Amazon was among the initial participants of both.


The platform's outreach is detailed in an undated letter to all five commissioners posted May 6 to Commissioner Dana Baiocco's statements page with a one sentence message: "Commissioner Baiocco invites any interested parties to submit comments regarding the pledge to her." The letter also cc's various upper agency managers.


Under Amazon's proposal, participants would agree to:

  • Be contact points for recalls of third party sellers' products.
  • Notify customers directly.
  • Issue refunds directly to customers.
  • Possibly facilitate returns and product destructions. Amazon pointed to is Fulfillment by Amazon service as the type of program that would allow such activity.
  • Create processes for holding sellers accountable.

Amazon asserted (

"This Pledge would establish a new standard that raises the bar on safety and will provide all customers a safer shopping experience. By joining this Pledge, companies are making a public commitment to CPSC, and American consumers, that they will work with the CPSC to ensure effective communication of safety hazards and issue prompt recalls of defective products."
in the May 10


A subscription to PRODUCT SAFETY LETTER is like adding a person to your staff to dig up must-know developments like these for less than $25 a week, and you learn of hundreds every year.


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Briefs on handguns, testing/labs, registration, electronic displays, plus the regular charts on recalls/corrections, standards activities, and CPSC meetings.


To subscribe at a $200 discount, click here.

The European program began in 2018 (PSL, 7/2/18). Participants commit to two-day product removals, five-day reaction to customer notifications, and clear ways to give such input. They also pledge that they will:

  • Seek information on dangerous and recalled items from available resources like RAPEX.
  • Provide member-state authorities with specific contact for notices and other product safety communication.
  • Respond to data requests aimed at identifying sources within supply chains of problem products.
  • Set internal notice and removal procedures.
  • Give sellers clear information about EU requirements.
  • Inform consumers about recalls and other corrections.
  • Set processes to address banned items.
  • Create procedures to deal with repeat offenders.
  • Have steps to help ensure removed items do not reappear.
  • Explore technological enhancements to systems.

Under the Australian pledge, begun last fall (PSL, 11/30/20), platforms promise they will:

  • Remove listing deemed unsafe within two days.
  • Regularly review Australian recalls.
  • Set up dedicated contact people for regulators.
  • Cooperate with regulators in supply chain reviews.
  • Set up internal procedures for data intake and delisting.
  • Set up "clear pathways" for consumer notifications.
  • Create steps to aid sellers' compliance with safety laws.
  • Cooperate in promoting recalls.
  • Set up ways to stop banned/recalled/noncompliant items.
  • Implement steps to take against repeat offenders.
  • Implement steps to stop reappearance of problem items.
  • Explore new tech to detect and remove problem items.


Last month, a California state court of appeals three-judge panel ruled that Amazon has responsibility for the safety of third-party products sold on its platform. Read a Los Angeles Times story about that decision here.