The 2015 Government Work Report clearly required “establishing and improving a consumer goods quality and safety supervision, tracking and recall system and taking stern actions against making and selling fake and forged commodities to safeguard consumers’ legitimate rights and interests”.
Standard as a rigid restriction for quality has a bearing on every consumer’s immediate interests and plays a crucial role in building up confidence in consumption and expanding the demand for consumption. Consumers’ participation in standardization can not only help boost continuous improvement of standards and make standardization meet people’s demand and consumption focus but also help consumers gradually get to know standardization and better use the means of standardization to protect their own rights and interests.
Since last year, the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SAC) has launched a special campaign for consumer goods safety standard “fence establishment” jointly with parties concerned to expand the channel for consumers to take part in standard development and revision and better safeguard consumers’ legitimate rights and interests. Firstly, it’s to support consumer organizations to send representatives to standardization organizations of key areas of consumer goods, such as textile, household appliance, toy, precious metal jewelry and children product and directly participate in the whole process of standardization as members of National Professional Standardization Techniques Commission, standardization working group or promotion group. Secondly, it’s to encourage consumer organizations to send representatives to directly take part in the development and revision of standards for important consumer goods, such as baby and children textile product, precious metal jewelry and toilet paper and bring forward advices or suggestions through conference speaking and written suggestions. Thirdly, SAC and National Professional Standardization Techniques Commission publish dynamic information about the development and revision of standards in a timely manner through network platforms, such as the plan on the preparation and organization of technical committees, change and recruitment of committee members, issuance of working plan and project for standard development and revision, organization of consultations on essential standards for steel shank for shoes, fireworks and crackers, and school uniforms. Individual consumers could feed back their opinions or suggestions through the Internet or by sending a written letter.
In the field of textile, representatives of CCA were added to the membership of the Third National Textile Standardization Technical Committee (SAC/TC209) when it was established. In the process of examining and approving the Safety Technical Code for Infants and Children Textile, CCA pointed out that this draft standard for examination did not provide the tensile strength index for “≤3mm accessories” but settled for the examination of the changing situation of accessories after being washed (whether the accessory is firmly attached to the sample or not, or whether the accessory is slightly and visibly loosened or not, or whether the accessory is apparently damaged or completely separated from the fabric or not). So CCA suggested adding examinations of ≤3mm accessories so as to prevent the risk of their entry into ears or nostrils. The drafting group adopted this suggestion and added the provision of “not using ≤3mm accessories” in relevant terms. This standard has been notified to WTO/TBT and is expected to be approved and released in 2015.
When it comes to household appliances, the current standard for washing machine products Household and Similar Electrical Washing Machine (GB/T4288-2008) indirectly verifies the labeled washing capacity through evaluating the index of “clean ratio” and “rinsing performance”. Consumers reflected that the clothes cannot be fully put inside some washing machines under the condition of the labeled “washing capacity”; or even when the clothes are put inside, there are no enough space for water and soaking, which have affected the actual washing effect. For this reason, some consumers suggest maintaining a basic adaptation relationship between the labeled “washing capacity” and the actual capacity of corresponding washing bucket, namely, the concept of “bath ratio” to avoid the “false labeling” that small buckets are labeled with overstated “washing capacity”. The revision of GB/T 4288 was launched in 2014 and adopted this suggestion.
There is an obvious “lifetime” requirement for air purifiers (filter materials) in terms of the effectiveness of pollutant purification/filtration, and the specific service life will be different under different actual conditions. In the process of revising the Air Cleaner(GB/T18801), the indicator of “cumulative amount of purification” of typical target pollutants (fine particles/methanol) was proposed through extensive experiments in line with consumers’ confusions generally reflected, and an estimated actual service life of air purifiers (filter materials) used in different environment was also presented as reference. CCA sent representatives to take part in the standard examination and approval.
With regard to the common concern on jewelry standards, SAC organized and established a precious metal jewelry standardization working group in 2013 in order to step up efforts to advance the development and revision of standards for precious metal jewelries. The working group is composed of 22 units including relevant industry associations, National Professional Standardization Techniques Commission, quality inspection organizations, CCA and well-established corporations. In the process of revising the Jewelry-Determination of precious metal content - Method using X-Ray fluorescence spectrometry (GB/T 18043) and the formulation of the modification list 1 of GB 11887, both CCA and Beijing Consumer Association sent representatives to attend the meeting for discussions and believe that the formulation and revision of these standards have an important guiding significance. The development orientation of precious metal jewelry should be design and craft. They also proposed a concerted effort of production and marketing enterprises, consumer associations and quality inspection institutions to guarantee consumers’ right to know and protect consumers’ rights and interests.
When it comes to fireworks and crackers, the National Technical Committee for Standardization of Fireworks and Crackers has always been active in playing its role as the network platform to release dynamic information and seek for opinions about standardization from social public and consumers. In the process of revising the standard of the Safety and Quality of Fireworks and Crackers, Mr. Li, a consumer from Taipingqiao Town, Liuyang City of Hunan Province, submitted the opinion on reserving the modeling of fireworks and enriching the effect of discharging online. The standard drafting team adopted part of his opinions. The revised standard reserved shelf fireworks but only limited to professional discharging and replied to his opinions in a timely manner.
In the field of paper products, in recent years, China National Paper Industry Standard Technology Association (SAC/TC141) has strengthened the emphasis on consumers’ participation, established connections with consumers in various ways and actively listened to consumers’ opinions and suggestions. Beijing Consumer Association dispatched representatives to participate in the examination of the revised Toilet Paper (including mother roll) (GB 20810). In the process of developing national standard Determination of the Contents of Methanol in Household Paper and Paper Products, China National Paper Industry Standard Technology Association organized a questionnaire survey targeting medical staff, industry experts and consumer representatives (mother of infant) and discovered that consumers focus more on the content of methanol in baby diapers, and related investigation results supported the development of the standard.
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