Trilateral initiative project between Canada, United States and Mexico on the safety of AC powered chargers

In 2015, the three North American national product safety organizations – Health Canada (HC), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and Mexico’s Consumer Protection Federal Agency (PROFECO) – joined in an unprecedented trilateral initiative geared towards improving North American consumer product safety.

The first research project under this initiative focused on testing USB chargers and AC laptop chargers. These are products that North Americans use every day. Millions of chargers are sold every year and are used to charge a wide range of small electronic products.

The goal of this project was to identify the potential risk these products pose to users and property and identify possible improvements to existing safety standards. In November 2018, the three product safety organizations recommended that standards development organizations in all three jurisdictions add new testing requirements to existing standards to assess the potential for fire and burn hazards. This will improve safety standards for these products across all three countries.

This is the first project under the trilateral initiative and it serves as an inspirational model of collaboration across the three different jurisdictions. The three North American national product safety organizations plan on leveraging the success of this first project to tackle other consumer products.

The letter sent to the Canadian Standards Development Organization (signed by all three organizations) and the Consensus Paper can be found via the links below.

The Health Canada Risk Assessment Report on USB replacement chargers and power supply chargers is available upon request by email from hc.ccpsa-lcspc.sc@canada.ca.

View the Report from US CPSC.

View the Report from Mexico’s PROFECO, in Spanish only.

Following this Early Consultation Initiative trilateral project, Health Canada carried out a separate project focused on USB chargers with no Canadian certification label. The project consisted of obtaining samples from across the country, testing those samples and taking action in Canada after identifying risk. This resulted in the recall of ~1.5 Million chargers. Health Canada continues to monitor for incidents and will take appropriate action, where necessary.

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